Senin, 01 September 2014

Dating app linked to blackmail rape in Canberra, ACT Supreme Court told (ABC)

Two Indian nationals accused of abducting, raping and blackmailing a Canberra woman they met through a mobile phone dating app have gone on trial in the ACT Supreme Court.

It is alleged Ajitpal Singh, 31, and Randhir Singh, 30, used a popular dating app to lure the woman into meeting them at the Kippax shopping centre in Holt in September 2013.

The men threatened the woman, telling her they knew where her son went to school, before taking her to a Belconnen apartment where they repeatedly assaulted and raped her.

Police have been unable to find another man involved in the incident, 33-year-old Jasharan Sandhu, also known as Gora, and it is believed he has fled overseas.

Prosecutor Margaret Jones told the jury the men had set a "terrifying trap" for the 39-year-old mother of two.

"Alone in this 14th floor flat with three men she doesn't know," Ms Jones said.

"She breaks down, she's sobbing, she's begging to be let go."

The victim had only recently arrived in Canberra as part of an attempt to save her marriage.

Her husband had been working in the capital for a number of years prior and had admitted to his wife that he had been seeing someone else.

"I decided to stay and fight for my family and my kids," she told the court.

But Ms Jones told the court the woman "was unable to let [the affair] go".

"He didn't want to talk and she did... [so] she did something that was extremely unwise and made contact with a stranger," Ms Jones said.

Woman used dating app to contact unknown man

The woman downloaded an app that allowed her to make contact with others using the app in the nearby area.

Randhir Singh started talking to her via the app. The two agreed to meet up for sex the following day at the Kippax Shopping Centre.

But the court heard Randhir Singh did not come alone. In the car with him were two other men, Ajitpal Singh and Sandhu.

"At this stage she's freaking out. She's thinking what have I done," Ms Jones said.

The woman told police that she profusely apologised to Randhir Singh and told him she no longer wanted to go through with their agreement for sex.

But Ajitpal Singh is then accused of telling her that he knew her husband and where her son went to school.

"At this stage the situation is dawning on her," Ms Jones said.

"But like any mum she's protective and she takes that as a threat. In her head she has no choice. She was being threatened with extortion.

"She tries to bargain. She's not going away with three men, she's only going to go with [Randhir Singh]."

She gets into Randhir Singh's car and he begins to drive her towards Ajitpal Singh's Belconnen apartment.

En route Randhir Singh is accused of indecently assaulting the woman and forcing her to perform sexual acts on him.

When they arrived at the apartment's secure carpark, Randhir Singh is accused of sexually assaulting the woman, before taking her up to the 14th-floor flat.

Inside the apartment, the jury heard the ordeal continued as Randhir Singh raped the woman.

Sandhu is accused of bursting into the room and taking several photos on Ajitpals Singh's phone of the woman naked on the bed.

When Randhir Singh eventually left, the woman told police she tried to hide in a cupboard, but Ajitpal Singh found her.

He offered her the phone and said he would let her delete the naked photos if she had sex with him also. She agreed.

"But guess what he's done before he allows her to delete them? He's sent them to Gora," Ms Jones told the court.

After the assault Ajitpal Singh fell asleep and his housemate, who had been asleep in another room, heard the woman crying.

"He steps in and he rescues her. He drives her home," Ms Jones said.

Over the coming days prosecutors are expected to rely heavily on DNA evidence linking both men to the victim.

The victim will also continue giving her evidence tomorrow.

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