DPP v Star [2019] VCC 1822

Sentence summary: Rape

A man who raped a teenager with a friend at a birthday party was sentenced to four years jail with a non-parole period of two years.

Charlie Star, 22, was convicted of one charge of rape by a jury. The jury acquitted Star of a second charge of rape and failed to reach a verdict on a third charge of rape.

The offender, 20, led the 17-year-old victim behind a shed at a friend’s 18th birthday party and raped her.

The presiding judge dismissed Star’s argument that the act of rape was purely accidental.

“The jury were satisfied that you intentionally sexually penetrated the victim, that she was not consenting to that penetration, and that you had no reasonable belief that she was,” the judge said.

The judge said an aggravating factor was the age of the victim, just 17, which in the eyes of the law constitutes a child – therefore making the offending a more heinous.

“The courts have long recognised the dreadful impact on child victims of sexual offending.”

“She was a child, and I am satisfied that it is a reasonable conclusion after consideration of all the evidence that she was a virgin before the events of that night,” the judge said.

The victim told the court through her impact statement the offending had caused so much trauma that she was not able to pursue further education for the career she longed for.

The judge said recurring nightmares of the offending continued to haunt the victim.

“The damage to her has been profound, including to her self-esteem, with the victim feeling worthless and suicidal, suffering nightmares and panic attacks, and continuing to live in fear and feeling completely emotionally isolated,” the judge said.

The Court heard while the offending was low in terms of seriousness, it was still not in the lowest possible category due to the age of the victim and the fact they knew she had not previously had sex before.

This meant a term of imprisonment was the only acceptable outcome.

However, the offender’s youthful age and no prior history also highlighted that his prospects for rehabilitation remained high.

The criminal process was also deemed to be a future deterrent, the judge said.

“I find that your passage through the criminal justice system is likely to have had a deterrent effect on you, such that the sentence I impose does not need to serve that purpose.

“I find that your prospects for rehabilitation are good, and that you are unlikely to reoffend in the same way again.”

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Page last updated: 5 May 2020