A man who raped a woman in a nature reserve in Canberra in full view of nearby homes has been sentenced to three years in prison by the ACT Supreme Court.
Most important points:
- Salvatore Incandela was found guilty by a jury of a single count of rape
- Incandela claims the incident, which took place when he offered the victim a ride home, was consensual
- Chief Justice Lucy McCallum disagreed, saying it was clear the woman had protested when she started bleeding
Salvatore Incandela, 41, was found guilty of a single rape by a jury after sexually assaulting the woman in his car.
One of the witnesses made a short video of the incident, which became the main piece of evidence in the case.
Incandela had offered the woman a lift after she was stranded on the other side of Canberra when a date with another man arranged through an online dating site had gone sour.
Incandela claims the incident, which took place in a nature reserve in Spence in northwestern Canberra, was by mutual consent, telling an author of the pre-sentence report:
But the victim gave a harrowing account of the incident and the injuries she sustained as a result.
Chief Justice Lucy McCallum said while it was not clear how the incident had started, the woman was clear that she had protested when she began to bleed.
“The crime was devastating to the victim,” Chief Justice McCallum said.
Chief Justice McCallum said the woman suffered from anxiety in the aftermath and had to move, also suffering from self-blame.
The Chief Justice took note of a report that suggested the victim was expressing herself in the terms and gestures of a much younger person.
“The perpetrator had taken advantage of her.”
Chief Justice McCallum also noted that Incandela admitted to being there only after the video was released, and expressed no regrets.
“It sometimes takes a while for offenders to come to terms with their violation,” she said.
Incandela has been sentenced to three years in prison, of which two years are probation, meaning he will be eligible for release in 2024.