DPP v Huynh [2019] VCC 1299

Sentence summary: Rape

A father was jailed for raping a family friend and threatening to kill her after breaking into her home.

Xuan Bach Huynh, 49, was sentenced to seven years and eight months prison with a non-parole period of five years and three months.

A jury found the offender guilty of two charges of rape, one charge of threatening to kill, one charge of sexual assault and two charges of common law assault.

The offender and the victim were family friends and had been out together with a group prior to the offending.

On the night of the offending, the victim’s family was away on holiday in Vietnam, a fact known to the offender.

After a night of partying, the victim drove the offender to his house and then walked home.

Shortly after the victim arrived home, the offender pushed his way through the front door and threw her onto the couch.

The offender grabbed the victim by the throat and raped her. When she protested, he threatened to kill her.

The presiding judge said aggravating factors included the agreed fact the offender filmed himself during the offending, while also laughing as the victim struggled.

“This ordeal must surely have been a terrifying ordeal for your victim,” the judge said.

“Your conduct in relation to your victim represents a shameful disregard for her wishes and feelings.”

The victim told the Court through an impact statement that she will forever live with that night and has suffered a great deal because of it.

“I want to hide from my friends. I don't want to see them. It is very hard for me to tell them how I feel. They don't understand what I have been through,” the victim said.

“I haven't spoken to them for years. If I do see them, it brings back the memory of what has happened.”

Mitigating factors included no prior convictions and a difficult upbringing, most notably an absent father, due to him being detained in North Vietnam for a number of years.

The offender was also detained for a year after trying to escape the country as a teenager.

The Court heard he saw his sister shot and hospitalised as she also attempted to flee the country.

However, the Judge noted that despite a troubled childhood, he had lived a relatively positive life in Australia.

“Notwithstanding your 30 years in Australia, you do not have any prior convictions. This is clearly a matter standing to your credit,” the judge said.

When deciding upon a sentence, the judge noted the principles of general deterrence and totality were at the forefront of the exercise.

“Your violation of your victim involved separate and discrete criminal acts,” the judge said.

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Page last updated: 5 May 2020