Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sydney Gang Rapist Convicted Again

Sydney, AU -- Notorious gang rapist Bilal Skaf has been convicted for a second time over a Sydney pack rape that sparked legal controversy and reform. The 12-person jury in the NSW Supreme Court retrial took two days to reach guilty verdicts for Skaf and his associate, who can be referred to only as AA, over the August 2000 attack on a 16-year-old girl in a Greenacre park.

Skaf now 24, was convicted in 2002 on two counts of aggravated sexual intercourse without consent in company, while AA, now 22, was found guilty of being and accessory before the fact. They were among up to 14 men allegedly involved in the attack.

Skaf made NSW legal history when he was sentenced to a record 55 years in jail for leading a string of vicious gang rapes in Sydney's southwest in 2000. But the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal in 2004 quashed Skaf and AA's convictions over the Greenacre park attack and ordered a retrial after it was revealed that during the trial, two jurors conducted their own investigations at the scene.

Skaf remained behind bars while awaiting retrial, with his sentence for other sex offences having been reduced to a maximum of 28 years on appeal. AA's overturned conviction and subsequent appeal resulted in his jail term for the same series of attacks, being reduced from 32 to 19 years.

The actions of the jurors in their original trial prompted the NSW Government to make it illegal for any juror to conduct private investigations outside court. It also led to a law allowing sexual assault victims to testify via transcript or video.

The Courier Mail

No comments: