Australian cricket player Alex Hepburn has been found guilty of raping a sleeping woman in the UK, as explicit messages from a WhatsApp group chat thread on sexual conquests have been revealed.
The 23-year-old was found guilty of oral rape on Friday after a four-day trial at Worcester Crown Court, in relation to an incident that occurred following a night out in 2017.
The court heard that a woman believed she was having sex with Hepburn’s teammate Joe Clarke, with whom she had earlier had consensual sex in a players’ apartment, but that he was elsewhere.
The woman, who has not been identified, testified that she engaged in around twenty minutes of sexual activity with Hepburn before realising who he was when he spoke.
In his own testimony, Alex Hepburn said he believed he was having consensual sex, and said that he had consumed up to twenty beers before the incident.
He also admitted to sending a series of “disgusting” WhatsApp messages concerning a sexual conquest competition, in which he and Clark attempted to have sex with as many partner as possible.
The messages were not put before the jury, but their content has not been revealed following the verdict. In them, Hepburn described himself and Clark as a “pair of tens” who “should be banging models.”
He bragged of at least 60 partners, and at one point said to Clark: “Got to understand that Hepperdawg is a horny c— and without you keeping my head straight just goes and does rogue things.”
He established the “rules” for a new sexual contest in a group chat thread in the week of the attack, saying that the last-placed competitor would have to buy dinner for the others in a restaurant.
Hepburn will be sentenced at a later date but has been told that a jail sentence is inevitable.
Local police DCI Ian Wall said of the verdict:
“I hope this conviction will provide reassurance to other victims of sexual offences, giving them the confidence that they will be believed … and that we will do everything to bring offenders to justice.”