Ashfield gang rapes

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The Ashfield gang rapes was a series of attacks involving indecent assault and rape of possibly as many as eighteen teenage women of varying ethnic backgrounds which were carried out in Ashfield, New South Wales, Australia over a six-month period in 2002.[1] Four Pakistani brothers and a Nepali student were convicted and imprisoned for the rapes.[2]

Perpetrators[edit]

The Khan brothers were referred to in court reports by their initials only, as two of the brothers were 16 and 17 at the time of the crimes.[3] The fifth rapist, Ram Shrestha, was a Nepalese immigrant and friend of the "K" brothers. As of July 2005, MSK was 26 years old, MAK, 25, MRK, 20, MMK, 19, and Shrestha, also referred to merely with his initials, was 25.[4]

The K brothers are sons of a Sydney general practitioner, Dr Hasan K, of Pakistani origin. The eldest, MSK, was married with a six-year-old son as of 2005.[4] They had grown up in Pakistan and had been brought to Sydney in 2000 by their father, who provided them with a house in Ashfield. He unsuccessfully attempted in court to provide an alibi for his sons, and was facing perjury charges at the time of his death in November 2006.[3]

Trials[edit]

News media were banned from reporting on the trials until July 2005 to prevent tainting the jury pool.[5]

In 2003, all five defendants were found guilty of "aggravated sexual assault in company" committed on 28 July.[6] In April 2004, the four brothers were sentenced to a total of 70 years' imprisonment over the 28 July assaults. Ram Shrestha had hanged himself in his prison cell on or about 15 April 2004, a week before the sentencing.[4][7][8] In late 2004 three of the brothers appealed against their sentences, but their appeals were rejected in November 2005.[8]

In the March 2005 trial of MSK, MAK, and MMK for the February rapes, MSK divulged the K brothers' 2003 convictions in open court, a fact which had been kept from the jury to ensure a fair trial. Prosecutor Ken McKay suggested MSK's outburst appeared "calculated" to have the trial aborted.[4] The trial was aborted for MAK and MMK, but not for MSK.[6]

MSK initially fabricated evidence that he had consensual sex with a 14-year-old, Tegan Wagner,[9] before admitting in late 2005 that he had lied.[10]

MSK, as well as his barrister, argued that MSK's actions were influenced by alcohol and cultural conditioning.[11] MSK apologised to his victim in court and said that he understood his actions were wrong now that he better understood "Australian culture."[10]

In April 2006 the New South Wales Supreme Court increased the sentences of three of the brothers. Justice Peter Hidden added a minimum of five years to MSK's sentence and a minimum two extra years to MAK's jail term for the February and 14 July rapes. Their younger brother, MMK, was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment, to be served concurrently and in juvenile detention, for having consensual sex with an underage girl on the night of one of the rapes, as well as for an indecent assault in November 2001.[12]

In October 2007 it was reported that three of the brothers were facing further rape charges.[13] In March 2009 MRK pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault on a 15-year-old girl in 2002; he was due to be sentenced on 20 March 2009.[14]

Crimes[edit]

The crimes were, in chronological order:[6]

Day Month Year Event
20 January 2002 Two sisters, 18 and 16, are taken to one of the brothers' Ashfield house. MAK indecently assaults the younger one, but she manages to fight him off. MRK robs her.
14 February Three girls are picked up by MMK and MAK and taken to the house, where they are supplied with alcohol. One girl is repeatedly raped by MSK and MAK in one of the bedrooms while her friends are in the lounge room. She alleged MMK also raped her and hit her when she tried to fight him off.
July A 13-year-old girl has consensual sex with MMK. MSK then rapes her twice, followed by Shrestha.
28 HG and LS, aged 16 and 17,[8] are lured, threatened at knifepoint and sexually assaulted at the Ashfield house by the five rapists. One of the victims was told that the other had been killed because she had resisted orders.

These are the first girls to come forward, sparking the police investigation against the rapists.

MMK is also alleged to have indecently assaulted a 15-year-old girl, Y, in November 2001, but she did not wish to go to trial.[6] On 12 May 2002, he allegedly indecently assaulted two other girls whom police cannot locate, molesting them while he videotaped them.[6]

After one assault, MRK allegedly made an allusion to the Sydney gang rapes by a group of Lebanese-Australian men led by Bilal Skaf.[4]

Aftermath[edit]

On 9 February 2007 it was reported that the two eldest brothers had been assaulted in Goulburn Correctional Centre by a gang of eight other inmates. One was taken to Canberra Hospital with critical head injuries.[15] Seven convicts appeared in court via videolink in March 2009 to face charges over the assault.[16]

MRK, the first of the brothers to be eligible, was granted parole by the State Parole Authority in April 2010 despite the opposition of NSW Corrective Services Commissioner Ron Woodham,[17] and released the following month.[18] Victims called for deporting the perpetrators back to Pakistan, but legal experts considered it "highly unlikely" that revoking the brothers' Australian citizenship was legally possible.[19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wallace, Natasha (2005-07-22). "In the open: rapists' campaign of vicious assaults". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  2. ^ Sheehan, Paul (2006-08-01). Girls Like You. Macmillan. ISBN 1-4050-3727-X. 
  3. ^ a b Sheehan, Paul (2006-12-04). "Dad dies, but his sons' evils go on". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "The brothers grim". The Sydney Morning Herald. 22 July 2005. Archived from the original on 2005-07-22. Retrieved 2015-11-08. 
  5. ^ Jacobsen, Geesche (2005-07-21). "Brothers' violent gang rapes revealed". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Wallace, Natasha (22 July 2005). "History of infamy". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 2005-07-23. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  7. ^ "Inquest into the Death of Ram Chandra Shrestha". Coroner's Court of New South Wales. 2005-08-08. Archived from the original (DOC) on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  8. ^ a b c "Gang rapes: 'cultural time bomb' rap". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2005-11-04. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  9. ^ Devine, Miranda (9 April 2006). "The moment Tegan stood up for herself and became a hero". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 2006-04-10. Retrieved 2015-11-08. 
  10. ^ a b Wallace, Natasha (2005-12-10). "Gang rapist claims right to assault". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 12 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  11. ^ Wallace, Natasha (2005-10-12). "Gang rapist's attacks unavoidable, says lawyer". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  12. ^ "Gang rapists' jail terms increased". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2006-04-05. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  13. ^ Jacobsen, Geesche (2007-10-23). "Charges brought against brothers for rapes". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  14. ^ Alexander, Harriet (2009-03-08). "Rapist faces new jail term". smh.com.au. Archived from the original on 9 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  15. ^ "Rapist brothers bashed in jail". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2007-02-09. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  16. ^ Lawrence, Kara (2009-03-18). "Killers 'bashed gang rapist brothers'". news.com.au. Archived from the original on 21 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  17. ^ News.com.au: Ashfield gang rape brother MRK granted parole
  18. ^ Podcast by Jason Morrison, Macquarie Radio Network’s Director Of Current Affairs: Tegan Wagner – Victim of gang rapist MRK. Link to podcast Archived 2 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine. Podcast Archived 7 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  19. ^ "Rapists set to stay citizens, lawyers say". The Sydney Morning Herald. 5 May 2010.