By Sahar Adatia and Jimmy Singh.
It is reported that on 27 March 2020, a man allegedly posed as a police officer in Adelaide’s CBD, and under his guise, entered the hotel rooms of two women who were in COVID-19 isolation, where he went on to sexually assault them.
According to ABC News, police allege that at about 8:30pm on Friday, a 31-year-old man, armed with a shotgun, appeared at an Adelaide hotel and made his way into the first woman’s room, asserting himself as a police officer and even producing a form of identification.
The man told the New South Wales woman, who was on her last day of isolation after arriving in South Australia, that he was there to check up on her well-being in light of the coronavirus pandemic, so she allowed him into her hotel room.
However, once the man entered, he handcuffed the woman to the lounge then revealed the handgun that was in his jacket.
The man then allegedly forced the woman to go to the bedroom where he raped her.
Before leaving, he requested the woman hand over all her money to him.
The woman presented $400; however, the man then allegedly displayed his shotgun a second time, coercing her to hand him over another $6,200.
The woman pleaded to the man that without any money, she would not be able to buy food.
So, the 31-year-old gave back the woman $400.
Man Posing at Police Officer Storms into Second Woman’s Hotel Room
About two hours later around 10:45pm, it is alleged the same man carried on with his charade as a police officer and stormed into a second woman’s hotel room – who was waiting in her hotel room for her travel companion to return.
Once more, the man falsely represented himself as an authority to the woman, this time telling her that she would end up in jail if she was not following quarantine orders and the only way she could make sure this wouldn’t happen was for her have sex with him.
After showing her his handgun once again, the man allegedly went on to rape the woman, telling her male companion to stay in the bathroom.
After the man sexually assaulted the woman, he then also stole money from her.
The incidents called for an investigation by Eastern District detectives, following which, the man from the northern suburbs was arrested.
He was charged with two counts of impersonating a police officer, two counts of rape and two counts of aggravated robbery.
The man was refused bail.
Man’s Lawyer says Client Denies All Allegations
On 30 March 2020, the 31-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, faced Adelaide Magistrates Court through a video link from his police cells.
His lawyer, Andrew Ey, said his client denied all the allegations and sought release on home detention bail.
However, prosecutors contested the application given the serious nature of the offences.
They told the court of the man’s wicked conduct.
Speaking of the first victim, they said the woman from New South Wales had been in isolation and under the assumption the man was a genuine police officer.
“It was day 14 of her isolation,” prosecutors said.
“There was a knock at the door and the made provided a police ID card.
“He said he was check on her due to the coronavirus so she let the male in.”
Of the second victim, the court was told the woman was shown the man’s handgun and forced to have sex with him in order to avoid going to prison.
“He told her that she would go to prison if she was not quarantining and the only way she would not go to prison is if she had sex with him,” prosecutors said.
Magistrate Greg Fisher rejected the home detention application, concluding the accusations were far too grave.
The man is due to face the courts again in July.
Rape is another word for sexual assault without consent.
Section 61I Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) prescribes a maximum penalty of 14-years behind bars to anyone guilty of rape in NSW.
The law says that sexual assault carries a 7-year non-parole period– representing the minimum full-time custody before eligibility for release on parole.
Sexual assault is when a person has sexual intercourse with another person without consent, knowing that there was an absence of consent.
Aggravated sexual assault carries up to 20-years behind bars under section 61J Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). It has a 10-years standard non-parole period.
Aggravated sexual assault is when there is sexual assault in ‘aggravated circumstances’, including any of the following:
- The victim was deprived of his/her liberty.
- It occurred in the company of another person (other than the offender and victim).
- Threats were used to inflict actual bodily harm with an offensive weapon or instrument.
Questions? Speak to our criminal lawyers Sydney and Parramatta based today.