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8 Feb, 2016 09:03

Pay to rape: Australians avoid jail terms for raping 17yo girl after paying her $22,000

Pay to rape: Australians avoid jail terms for raping 17yo girl after paying her $22,000

Three Australian men have dodged over a decade in jail despite admitting to raping a 17-year-old Norwegian girl in Croatia. Instead, after paying the victim around US$22,000, they were allowed to walk free.

Dylan Djohan, 23, Ashwin Kumar, 23, and Waleed Latif, 21, who are all from Melbourne, were originally given a one-year prison sentence. However, this was immediately downgraded to a five-year good behavior bond, meaning the men would not have to spend any time behind bars, Fairfax media reports.

The rape took place in the city of Split in 2015 at a late night bar, where the three men sexually assaulted a 17-year-old Norwegian backpacker. However, the group was able to avoid a trial and a possible 15-year jail sentence after they agreed to pay the girl €20,000 ($22,000), which has angered women’s rights campaigners.

"If they can afford it, those who are indicted will pay for the best lawyers, pay the damages and receive a minimum sentence or even go free. In a democratic state, everyone should have the same treatment, regardless of their wealth or assets," Croatian women's rights campaigner Sanja Sarnavka told the local media.

However, Sarnavka defended the girl’s decision to accept the money in order to avoid a trial, so she would not be forced to relive the harrowing event.

Djohan, a bartender and part-time model mentioned that he had an epiphany and heard a “soft voice” telling him, while he was in Dubrovnik, Croatia, that it was his duty in life to “bed heavenly blessed beauties.”

"Four days into my Adonis shred and these cuts are coming in deeper than the Baltic seas. My gift from the gods was this blessed block of heathen marble ... My curse from the gods is that I must sculpt it with my bare hands," Mr Djohan said, as cited by Fairfax media.

Prosecutors assert the men had plotted to rape the girl and one of them dragged her into the toilets before the other men joined in and proceeded to sexually assault her. A doctor’s report showed that intercourse had taken place. However, two of the men said the sex was consensual, while the third said he had not taken part.

The three men were part of a larger Australian group, who had headed to Ibiza before traveling to Croatia for a music festival. The men said the girl was drinking with them before the attack took place, while the majority of witnesses supported the accounts given by the Australian males. Staff and security at the bar did not report any incidents.

A Croatian source with access to the court files said the prosecution’s case against the three Australian men was not very strong.

The three men spent seven months in Croatia awaiting trial for rape after police seized their passports in July last year. However, with the case settled, they have now all returned home to Melbourne.

Just days after securing his freedom, 23-year-old Djohan inquired about the possibility of having sex on an airplane and joining the “mile-high-club,” with an airline stewardess before boarding a flight to Melbourne.