Christopher Lovgren: Alleged dating app rape victim did not flee because she was frozen with fear

Rebecca Le May
The Nightly
3 Min Read
A man accused of raping, throttling, degrading and threatening to kill a woman he’d met on a dating app just days prior allegedly described himself during the attack as a ‘sick soul’.
A man accused of raping, throttling, degrading and threatening to kill a woman he’d met on a dating app just days prior allegedly described himself during the attack as a ‘sick soul’. Credit: Adobe Stock/terovesalainen - stock.adobe.com

A woman who alleges she was repeatedly sexually assaulted and throttled during an overnight ordeal with a man she met on a dating app has testified that she did not flee because she was frozen with fear.

The complainant claims that she was violated by Christopher John Peter Lovgren at her home five days after they began chatting on the Plenty Of Fish app.

She told his District Court trial in Perth that she had consensual sex with the then 40-year-old two days later, after they had talked for hours at Kings Park and he cajoled her into letting him come home with her.

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But when she visited a friend in the South West for three days, he became possessive.

The woman agreed under questioning by defence counsel Tony Hager that she got the impression from aggressive texts and phone calls that he was pretty “pissed off” with her.

She said that after she returned to Perth, Lovgren turned up at her home and apologised, which she accepted.

The pair ended up having brief consensual sex in the shower — until he suggested she needed “punishment” for not answering some of her calls and grabbed her around the neck, the woman claimed.

She agreed that she then joined Lovgren in bed — despite what he had done in the shower.

The woman testified that Lovgren went on to violate her again multiple times throughout that night and into the following day, making degrading comments including “be a good girl”.

She said he also filmed her on his phone while forcing her to perform a sex act. She complied because she was frightened for her life.

“I was still scared of him because he’d told me, ‘Don’t make me angry’,” the woman said.

“I was probably more in a frozen state, just playing along.”

Mr Hager asked why she did not try to escape, make phone calls or run to a neighbour’s house.

The woman said Lovgren had threatened to kill her if he found her with anyone else and, when they were sleeping, put a limb over her or touched her in some way so he would wake up if she moved.

At one point, when they had both woken, he allegedly told her: “If I can’t have you in this lifetime, I’ll have you in the next.”

She testified that she managed to go to the bathroom at some point while Lovgren was asleep, then went back to bed.

“You didn’t think to leave at that point?” Mr Hager asked. “You didn’t call the police, you didn’t call anyone?”

Mr Hager put to the complainant that her allegations simply were not true and that “all of it was consensual”.

“I’m not disputing that I gave consent several times but I also said no several times,” the woman said.

She had earlier told prosecutor Rebekah Sleeth that as she left for work, Lovgren asked if she wanted to see him again.

“I said, ‘Why would I want to? You’ve basically hurt me all night,” she testified.

“He apologised and said he understood that he’d crossed the line with me.”

She said that when what had happened “finally sunk in” while she was driving away, she pulled into a service station and phoned a friend.

“She was the one who explained to me in blunt form, ‘You’ve been raped’,” the woman said.

The woman said that she also told a colleague of her ordeal; a short time later.

Both women are witnesses in the trial.

Lovgren is charged with seven counts of aggravated sexual penetration without consent and three counts of impeding a person’s breathing by applying pressure to the neck.

If you have experienced or are at risk of experiencing sexual assault and/or domestic violence, contact 1800 RESPECT or 1800 737 732

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