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Nepali barista found guilty of rape jailed for 4 years in Melbourne

Exterior photo of the County Court of Victoria in Melbourne, Monday, November 27, 2017. Source: AAP

A Nepali barista found guilty of raping a woman at her Melbourne home has been jailed for at least four years.

Nepali national Indra Bhandari, 30, denied the charges but was found guilty by a Jury of raping and sexually assaulting a 23-year-old woman on a couch at her home in March 2017.

The County Court of Victoria had earlier heard that Bhandari and the victim, who was on a working holiday in Australia, walked to her home after their night out, during which they kissed. 

The woman reportedly told Bhandari that the kiss didn't mean anything. He offered to walk her home and the woman said he could sleep on a couch because he had work in the area the next morning. 

After they returned to the woman's house, they took her dog for a walk in a nearby park, where the pair kissed again.

The court was told when they went home to sleep, the woman partially undressed in front of Bhandari and went to sleep on a different couch. She woke to find Bhandari sexually assaulting her before he raped her.

"Her evidence was that she froze, not knowing what to do," Judge Richard Smith said while sentencing on Thursday 12 July, 2018.

"The victim then demanded you leave the house. She was upset and began to cry."

Judge Smith described the offending as "opportunistic rather than planned or premeditated". "You commenced your assault upon her while she was asleep and vulnerable," he said.

"This was not a case of a single impulsive act. Your actions were sustained and
deliberate."

He added the kissing earlier in the evening could not have been interpreted by Bhandari as consent to foreplay or intercourse.
"She lives in fear. She has made changes in her life such as not getting home late ... or talking as she used to with strangers."

Bhandari was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in jail and must serve at least four years before being eligible for parole.

Thereafter, as a non-Australian citizen, he may be subject to deportation.

Source AAP