18 February 2021

Man awaiting trial over alleged rape in bush reserve has bail changed to live in Queensland

| Albert McKnight
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ACT Law Courts

Salvatore David Incandela has pleaded not guilty to a charge of sexual intercourse without consent. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

A man fighting a charge over an alleged rape said to have taken place near homes on a bush reserve has had his bail changed so he can live in Queensland ahead of his trial.

Salvatore David Incandela, 40, is accused of raping a woman on an afternoon in November 2020 and has pleaded not guilty to a charge of sexual intercourse without consent. He faces 12 years’ jail if convicted.

The statement of facts from the Australian Federal Police state the alleged victim went to a barbecue where she met Mr Incandela. He offered her a lift home as he was heading in the same direction.

Police say that afternoon they drove to a dirt track on a bushland reserve in north Canberra where they stopped “within 10 metres of residential buildings” and allegedly had sex outside the car, despite the woman allegedly telling him to stop and causing injury to her.

Police said several people saw them in the nearby homes. One reported seeing what they thought was “two people having sex” while others described the car as a white four-wheeled drive ute.

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Another wrote down the car’s registration number, which would be found to be one letter off the registration number of Mr Incandela’s white ute.

The two left the reserve and the woman arrived home before reporting the alleged assault to police three days later.

A medical examination showed the woman had bruising to her abdomen, inner arms, inner thighs, outer thighs and around her buttocks.

When interviewed by police, Mr Incandela, who lived in Calwell, denied ever having sexual intercourse with the woman. He did, however, admit some consensual sexual activity had taken place between him and a woman he had met at the barbecue.

In the ACT Magistrates Court on Wednesday, Mr Incandela sought to change his bail conditions so he could move back to Queensland, with his lawyer saying he was no longer welcome at the property he was living in and only had until the afternoon to “get his affairs in order”.

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His lawyer was critical of media coverage of the case, saying Mr Incandela had been sacked from his job due to the reporting. He was also unable to find other work as a concreter, meaning he was left with only $73 in his bank account.

Special Magistrate Jane Campbell said Mr Incandela had been charged with a “very serious offence” and the case would likely be sent to the ACT Supreme Court for trial at the end of this year or possibly 2022.

She noted the prosecution’s concern that if he returned to Queensland, he would have a motive to not attend court in Canberra due to facing the possibility of time in jail if found guilty, but she granted the bail variation request for Mr Incandela to report to a police station in the northern state.

Mr Incandela will next appear in court on 12 March.

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It should still be illegal to publish an alleged offenders name until they are found guilty. Now the guy is branded a rapist, for life, even if found to be innocent in court.

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