23 October 2023

Woman allegedly drugged, repeatedly sexually abused by man she met while homeless

| Albert McKnight
rear of police car

Police found a 31-year-old inside a roof before he was remanded in custody. Photo: Claire Fenwicke.

CONTENT WARNING: This article refers to alleged sexual abuse.

A man refused to stand up while he was being formally charged with 19 counts that accuse him of repeatedly assaulting or sexually abusing a woman he first met when she was homeless.

“I’m not standing up to that,” the 31-year-old told his lawyer before sitting down part-way through being charged by the ACT Magistrates Court on Monday (23 October).

ACT Policing said the woman had approached him in early October and alleged the man abused her during August and September 2023.

She alleged he sexually assaulted her, including while she was unconscious, threatened to kill her and choked her all on multiple occasions.

He also allegedly forced her to consume the drug gamma-hydroxybutyrate, took her money and clothes and used a mobile phone to film some of the alleged assaults.

READ ALSO ACT prosecutors record their highest number of referrals for sex offence accusations

The woman met the man at the beginning of August when she was homeless and police allege he abused this situation to continue his crimes against her.

Police said significant efforts had been made to find him over the past three weeks before he was arrested at about 10.50 pm on Saturday (21 October) after officers were called to a home adjacent to where the woman now lives.

The owner had called police around 8 pm after they heard someone enter their yard then heard noises coming from the roof cavity of their home.

The officers found the man in the roof, and he eventually surrendered to them without incident.

Duty lawyer Brandon Bodel said his client would not apply for bail when he appeared in court on Monday, while the prosecutor said some additional charges were being investigated.

Magistrate James Lawton remanded the man in custody and adjourned until November for a mention of the matter.

READ ALSO Hours after being granted bail, 21 year old allegedly drove at police during dangerous chase

The man, who is currently not named for legal reasons, had been mouthing words at a woman present in the courtroom during his brief court appearance. This woman called, “Love you”, before he was left to custody.

He had been charged with six counts of sexual intercourse without consent, five counts of capturing visual data, three counts of choking, two counts of assault and single counts of administering a substance dangerous to a person, rendering a person insensible via strangulation and threatening to kill a person.

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