A sixth person has been arrested in connection with an alleged gang rape in Adelaide last weekend, as a court hears one of the accused offered to pay an alleged victim $4,000 for her silence.
South Australian Police confirmed a 20-year-old Gilberton man was charged with rape on Thursday and is due to face Adelaide Magistrate’s Court on Friday. Five of the six have been charged with sexual intercourse without consent.
A 17-year-old male has been charged with inducing a witness to withhold evidence.
Police allege that on Saturday, December 3, two women were sexually assaulted between 11pm and 12:30am at the Hindley Street car park off Adelaide’s main night-life strip.
The two women were allegedly walking past when they were allegedly caught up in an ‘alcohol and cannabis fuelled incident’. They were then allegedly gang-raped by seven men for half an hour.
The Plaza Hotel Car park on Hindley St, where a gang rape is alleged to have occurred. Picture: Shashi Baltutis
One of the women managed to escape, but upon realising her friend was still trapped, ran back to help and was gang-raped a second time, police will allege.
Magistrate Melanie Burton denied a bail application for the most recently arrested man, whose identity is suppressed to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation, after the court heard he is facing District Court charges for similar alleged offending.
Mary-Anne Goldsworthy, for the man, told the court her client was not known by the victims, and played a ‘lesser part’ in the alleged sexual assault which involved ‘multiple offenders’.
‘There are some issues with what part, if at all, the defendant might have played,’ Ms Goldsworthy said.
‘His role, if any, would be on the lesser extent.’
She said the matters of a similar nature that are before the District Court are contested, and the man was on bail for those charges at the time of the alleged offending.
Prosecution counsel argued against granting bail, revealing the man was captured on CCTV in the area at the time of the alleged assault.
“Even if he had a lesser part in it, he still was there and seemed to have no issue with doing so,” prosecutors said.
He will appear in court again in March 2023.
In the days after the incident, six people, including two youths, have now been arrested.
Five men have been charged over the alleged incident including a 23-year-old man (pictured) whose identity was suppressed by the court
Two women were allegedly gang raped in this car park just off one of Adelaide’s busiest streets. Picture: Shashi Baltutis
A 20-year-old man of no fixed address was arrested and charged with rape on Sunday, and faced the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Monday.
On Monday, a 17-year-old Blair Athol boy was arrested and charged with rape, and later appeared in the Adelaide Youth Court where he was refused bail.
A second 17-year-old youth, accused of offering to pay one of the victims to prevent her going to police, was arrested on Tuesday and he was also refused bail in the Adelaide Youth Court.
On the same day, a 23-year-old Kensington man was charged with two counts of rape. The identities of the men have been suppressed under court orders, and state law determines youths can also not be named.
A 21-year-old Clearview man was arrested on Wednesday. In the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Thursday, he faced Magistrate Justin Wickens, charged with two counts of engaging in sexual intercourse with a person without consent, and one count of inducing a witness to withhold or give false evidence.
Prosecutors alleged the second youth had contacted one of the victims and offered her $4000 to ‘either not give evidence or give false evidence’.
One of the women escaped but went back to save her friend before allegedly being raped again, a court heard on Wednesday
One of the women then contacted police, who attended the home of the 21-year-old Clearview man where he was arrested and found with the $4000 in his possession.
‘Police located money equivalent to the induced payment,’ Prosecutors said.
Magistrate Wickens told the 21-year-old’s counsel he had bigger problems to consider than money-related matters, with the prosecution also revealing the 21-year-old was known to one of the alleged victims.
‘I would have thought your main problem is one of the alleged victims in this matter knows this man, and says he is one of the people doing things to herself and her friend in the stairwell,’ Mr Wickens said.
Counsel for the 21-year-old, James Noblett, said those allegations of inducing a witness against his client were weak and were no reason to deny him bail.
‘As your honour is well aware, there is always two sides to a coin; that comes with explanations in due course, so I will keep my powder dry,’ Mr Noblett said.
‘My client denies any wrongdoing in this,’ he said.
Mr Wickens denied the man bail, and remanded him in custody until next week, and suppressed his identity from the public.