9 February 2024

Accused rapist with 'tendency to act violently' gets bail over alleged abuse of teen

| Albert McKnight
ACT Court

A 23-year-old accused of raping and assaulting his ex-girlfriend has been granted bail. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

CONTENT WARNING: This article refers to alleged sexual abuse.

An accused rapist with an alleged “tendency to act violently” has been granted bail over the alleged repeated abuse of his young girlfriend.

Aged about 20 at the time, court documents say he had booked a night in a Canberra hotel for himself and his then-16-year-old girlfriend sometime between the end of 2020 and the start of 2021.

It is alleged she was getting ready to leave the hotel for dinner when he grabbed her, put her on the bed and digitally raped her, even though she repeatedly told him to stop.

When they returned to the hotel after dinner, he allegedly pushed her onto the bed again and raped her while she was saying “stop” and “don’t”. It is alleged he eventually stopped and became angry that she didn’t want to have sex with him.

Also, in June 2021, it is alleged the pair were lying on the bed in her room when she received a message from a male family member on the social media application Snapchat that showed a love-heart emoji.

It is alleged he became angry and they got into a lengthy argument, during which he kicked her in the leg, threw his phone at her face and punched her two to five times in the head.

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Then, at the start of 2022, the man allegedly became angry during another argument, ripped his own shirt open, grabbed his girlfriend by the throat and pushed her up against a wall while choking her for about one minute.

“You just make me so angry,” he allegedly told her.

She ended their relationship shortly afterwards. In response, he allegedly proposed and said he would stop hitting her, but then started threatening her again in the following weeks.

The partner did meet up with him again because he was allegedly threatening one of her friends and she was worried he might harm them. But when they were sitting in his car, he reportedly started banging his head on the steering wheel before hitting her across the face several times.

The ex-partner went to police in December 2023. Police spoke to the man earlier this week and he claimed he had never assaulted her, that their relationship had been mostly happy and he was a very calm person.

However, he admitted he had sometimes sworn at her and followed her for a bit after they broke up.

The man, who legally cannot be named to protect his ex-partner’s identity, was charged with four counts of sexual intercourse without consent, nine counts of assault and one count of choking.

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The now-23-year-old applied for bail in the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday (8 February), during which his lawyer, Legal Aid’s Lesley Jayasuriya, argued that his client had not seen his former partner for at least 18 months.

The prosecutor, who opposed bail, said she was concerned the man had shown an alleged pattern of “stalking-like behaviour”.

Magistrate Ian Temby accepted the material before the court and suggested the man had a “tendency to act violently”, particularly when things were not going his way, but he has had little to no contact with this ex-partner for over a year, and there was no evidence of him contacting other witnesses.

He granted bail on conditions including that the man not contact his ex or the witnesses and adjourned until March. No pleas were entered.

If this story has raised any concerns for you, 1800RESPECT, the national 24-hour sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line, can be contacted on 1800 737 732. Help and support are also available through the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre on 02 6247 2525, the Domestic Violence Crisis Service ACT 02 6280 0900, and Lifeline on 13 11 14. In an emergency, call Triple Zero.

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