Man admits raping Tinder date; victim says he offered hush money | #tinder | #pof

Murray Wilson/Stuff

In the Palmerston North District Court on Thursday, Caleb James Winchcombe pleaded guilty to a charge of rape.

A man has admitted brutally raping a woman he matched with on dating app Tinder.

Caleb James Winchcombe, 25, was in December found guilty of several violence charges following a trial in the Palmerston North District Court.

But the jury could not decide if he raped the woman during an encounter at his Levin home on September 7, 2018.

Winchcombe was set to head back to court for a retrial on the rape charge. But he instead pleaded guilty on Thursday – the day of his 25th birthday – as his victim watched from the public gallery.

READ MORE:
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* Alleged rape victim had blood dripping from her face after violent assault
* Man accused of offering Tinder date money to keep rape, assaults secret

He will now be sentenced on all charges in October.

The trial heard the pair matched with each other on Tinder, but they had previously attended the same Horowhenua high school.

After a few weeks chatting, they added each other on Facebook and decided to meet in person.

She thought Winchcombe was nice and friendly, and believed they had a connection.

He liked her too, but later thought she was dull when they met at his home.

Expecting the night would lead to sex, she arrived at his place about 10pm and noticed Winchcombe was drunk.

He would drink up to three dozen Vodka Long Whites each week, the court heard.

They sat in the lounge and made small talk. She felt there was a good vibe, but Winchcombe believed she was disinterested and didn’t think the night would lead anywhere.

But they ended up having consensual sex.

He then became angry and subjected her to a night of torment, punching her in the face, pulling her hair, biting her face and scratching her breasts.

She said she was made to perform various degrading sex acts, and was left with blood dripping from her right cheek.

Doctors said the welt was caused by significant blunt force trauma.

The victim said Wichcombe once left the room and on his return said: “I feel like I’ve just raped you.”

She was offered $2000 to keep quiet.

Winchcombe, who gave evidence in his defence, said she initiated the sex acts and appeared to be enjoying herself.

Any marks and bruises were likely caused by him, but were unintentional, he said.

She became hysterical when she saw hickeys, saying her boyfriend would be angry.

The woman’s mother picked her up afterwards, and said her daughter was in shock and hyperventilating.

Her daughter was initially wary of going to police, saying she knew of rape cases where the victim had “asked for it” the mother said.


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