‘Lenient’ sex offence sentences appealed

31Aug06

A young woman exhausted with fighting the system that is there to protect us. I am pleased this survivor has the courage and strength to write a book about her ordeal so that other rape victims “have something to relate to”. One brave and gutsy young woman.

An 18-year-old rape victim attended an appeal court hearing Monday as prosecutors claimed the jail sentences handed to her attackers were too lenient. Tegan Wagner said that while she was “exhausted” by the length of time the case had taken, she wanted to see justice.

“I’m still waiting for everything to be over, so it’s still taking a bit of strain on my own personal life,” Ms Wagner, who has waived her right to anonymity to encourage other rape victims to speak out, said outside court.

Prosecutors have appealed against the jail terms given to three Sydney brothers for sexual offences, arguing that they do not reflect the seriousness of their crimes.

The men were already serving lengthy jail terms for gang rape when they were sentenced in April for assaulting Ms Wagner and another teenage girl at their Ashfield home, in Sydney’s inner-west.

The crown on Monday challenged the latest sentences given to the Pakistani trio, who can only be identified as MSK, MAK and MMK.

MSK, 27, and MAK, 26, were convicted of sexually assaulting Ms Wagner on June 14, 2002, when she was aged 14.

MSK was also convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl known as CH on July 14, 2002.

Earlier that night, the girl had had consensual sex with MMK, who was convicted of having sexual intercourse with a minor.

When the brothers were sentenced for the offences, their jail terms were made partly cumulative with sentences they were already serving for the 2002 rape of two other girls, aged 16 and 17. In 2004, NSW Supreme Court Justice Brian Sully had sentenced MSK and MMK to 22 years each behind bars for those rapes, while MAK was jailed for up to 16 years.

Last April, Justice Peter Hidden effectively ordered MSK to serve at least another five-and-a-half years for raping Ms Wagner and CH, while MAK was sentenced to a minimum two years on top of his earlier sentence.

MMK, now 19, will spend no extra time in jail, serving his 12-month term at the same time as his other sentence.

In the Court of Criminal Appeal, Crown Advocate Richard Cogswell, SC, argued that MMK’s sentence was inadequate and “failed to recognise the harm done to the victim”.

He was convicted under a law designed to protect young women from sexual violation, he said, and the sentence “fails to deliver any punitive response at all”

Mr Cogswell said MAK’s sentence did not reflect the gravity of his criminal behaviour and the offender was simply not adequately punished, he said. The sentence handed to the ringleader and oldest brother, MSK, was “manifestly inadequate”, he said.

MSK had encouraged MAK to assault Ms Wagner and threatened CH with violence as he raped her, telling her he had strangled a girlfriend and hung her from a balcony.

Chief Justice Jim Spigelman, and Justices Anthony Whealy and Roderick Howie reserved judgment on the appeal.

But Chief Justice Spigelman indicated they would increase MSK’s maximum term by at least two years, to take into account a miscalculation in his sentence.
Outside court, Ms Wagner said she was “exhausted” by the legal proceedings, which have dragged on for four years.

“I’m not happy that justice hasn’t been served yet,” she told reporters.
Ms Wagner is writing a book about her ordeal so other rape victims “have something to relate to”.

Source: http://au.news.yahoo.com/060828/2/10b6b.html

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One Response to “‘Lenient’ sex offence sentences appealed”

  1. “I, Dick Masterton, am a cowardly, vile, misogynist. I am also not intelligent enough to read this blog’s Troll Policy. I promise never again to joke about rape and the abuse of women as I did in my comment this morning.”

    Trollbuster:
    Dick by name… dick by nature.


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