Michael Williams pictured leaving Mullumbimby Hospital for a television appearance soon after the sinking of the Sea Rogue in February, 2008.
Michael Williams pictured leaving Mullumbimby Hospital for a television appearance soon after the sinking of the Sea Rogue in February, 2008.

Bravery award winner to be sentenced for rape

DOUBLE bravery award winner and survivor of the ill-fated Sea Rogue, Michael Patrick Williams, will be sentenced this month for sexually assaulting a woman while she was under the influence of alcohol.

The Yamba man, aged 52, has been found guilty of two counts of sexual assault by Judge Jonathon Priestley over the incident which occurred two years ago. 

Williams raped the woman, then aged 28, at a home near Pippi Beach in Yamba in June 2018.

Court documents reveal the victim had been invited by a friend to attend a gathering at the home and had consumed four margaritas and three tequilas upon arriving. 

The victim stated she continued drinking at the gathering and last recalled being outside with her head in a fellow attendee's lap.

 

Michael Williams in the film Sea Rogue.
Michael Williams in the film Sea Rogue.

When she woke up, Williams was lying beside her on a couch inside the home and was pulling down her jeans. 

Williams would not stop, despite the victim's attempts to say no. 

Williams assaulted the woman, committing acts of sexual intercourse without consent while knowing the victim was not consenting. 

The victim reported the incident to police two weeks later.

Williams had denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to all charges, and according to the court documents it had been argued Williams had been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression, causing him to suffer sexual dysfunction.

Williams had made global headlines in 2008 when he survived a 10-hour swim to shore after the sea trawler Sea Rogue sunk off Byron Bay.

Following the incident, which saw the death of Sea Rogue captain Alan Picton, Williams was awarded a Royal Humane Society of NSW Bronze Medal as well as a bravery medal from Governor-General Quentin Bryce.

Williams later published a book and featured in a short documentary based on the experience.

He will be sentenced at Coffs Harbour District Court on two counts of sexual intercourse without consent on July 21.



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