International student who raped teen girl at Woolgoolga sentenced to four and a half years in prison


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An Indian international student found guilty of raping a teenage girl in Woolgoolga, north of Coffs Harbour, has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

In February, a jury of eight women and four men found Gurjinder Singh guilty of sexually assaulting the then-16-year-old girl, after a two-week trial in the Coffs Harbour Local Court.

Singh had been travelling in the area with two friends and began drinking with three teenagers at a beach in February 2015.

The court heard the group ate pizza and smoked cigarettes together, then travelled to a berry farm in Woolgoolga, where Singh raped the girl in a caravan before tenants at the property called the police.

When he took the stand during the trial, Singh told the court through a Punjabi interpreter that he had engaged in sexual intercourse with the girl, but that she had consented.

The victim testified she had been heavily intoxicated and falling in and out of sleep throughout the assault.

An expert gave evidence estimating the girl’s blood alcohol reading would have been at least 0.17.

Singh bought a plane ticket out of country the day after the incident and returned to India, despite being told police wanted to speak with him.

He returned two months later and was arrested in Queensland.

Singh was found not guilty on a second charge of assault in company. He will be eligible for parole in January 2018.

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