The trial of two young men facing charges of rape has been delayed after a mistake in court meant the entire jury had to be discharged.
Mitchell Bowran and Charlie Star, both 21, fronted up to Wodonga County Court on Thursday to face allegations they raped a teenage girl at an 18th birthday party at Kergunyah in September 2017.
The court went through the hour-long process of choosing a 12-person jury to hear the case, expected to run for 10 days, before the defence barristers realised an error had been made during the selection.
Judge Richard Smith said he had no choice but to discharge the entire jury and start the trial again next week.
"From time to time, problems occur in the empanelling of a jury," he said.
"There was a mistake made, a technical thing."
He assured the 12 chosen jury members they had done nothing wrong.
"The proper procedures were not properly followed and I have no alternative but to discharge you as a jury … There is nothing I can do to help that," Judge Smith said.
"On behalf of the County Court, I apologise to you that errors of procedure were committed.
"Probably I'm as much to blame for that as anyone."
Crown prosecutor Peter Triandos and defence barristers Charles Morgan and Hayden Rattray agreed that putting together a new jury was the only way to ensure a fair trial.
Bowran and Star have both pleaded not guilty to all the charges including rape, attempted rape and indecent assault.
They were supported in court by family on Thursday and sat quietly in the dock at the back of the courtoom as the jury was discharged.
A new jury pool with another 55 people will go to court on Tuesday, when the trial is expected to restart.
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