Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Australia: 2 European Backpackers Raped at Gunpoint in Alice Springs, Victims Believe Lives Over

According to The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), a third defendant has been charged with the rape of two European tourists, one from Finland and one from Germany, in Alice Springs in May 2012.

Alice Springs is the third largest town in the Northern Territory with a population of 25,000. Popularly known as "the Alice" or simply "Alice", the town is situated in the geographic center of Australia near the southern border of the Northern Territory.

The third rapist, 19, faces 21 counts of sexual intercourse without consent over the incident. 

At the time, the two women, one Finnish and one German, then 21 and 28, respectively, had been raped at gunpoint inside the car they had been sleeping in by three juveniles.

The circumstances of the assaults created headlines around the world because the three accused were 17 at time of rapes.

Ginger Green and Norman Kernan pleaded guilty to sexual intercourse without consent last year and both were sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The 19-year-old has also been charged with aggravated unlawful entry, the unlawful use of a motor vehicle, aggravated robbery and firearms offenses.

The third defendant will appear in court on July 24.

COMMENT: As I have so often said over the years, "NO country is safe, largely because violent criminals will always find vulnerable victims who believe that violence happens to OTHER people." 

A much better solution for the two European women would have been to locate a well-protected campground that afforded them enhanced physical security that may well have eliminated the emotional trauma they both experienced.

The two victims had met in Australia and were touring together in a four-wheel-drive vehicle when they decided to camp for a night at the Mount Johns Estate, a suburb of Alice Springs.

At the trial of Green and Kernan last year, the court heard that the perpetrators came across the women's vehicle in the early morning hours of May 2, 2012, after consuming alcohol and stealing a car.

The teens smashed the windows of their vehicle, held the women at gunpoint and raped them.

At the time of the attacks, police said they were "horrible" crimes which had a massive effect on the local community.

Justice Dean Mildren read out statements to the court from the victims.

The first statement was from the German tourist, who said the rape had destroyed her life; sometimes she felt more dead than alive. The court heard that the rape had caused her marriage to break up and she was unable to work.

The Finnish victim said that as a result of the rape she had developed depression and an eating disorder. She said she did not work last year and felt hopeless.

This report will be updated as new information becomes available.