An Afghan refugee who twice lured women into his car and raped them has been jailed for 14 years after a judge rejected expert evidence that he was unfamiliar with the concept of consent.
Esmatullah Sharifi, 30, would drive from his home in Tullamarine to nightclubs in Frankston late at night searching for drunk, vulnerable young woman to prey on, the Victorian County Court has heard.
He pleaded guilty to one count of rape over his attack on an 18-year-old girl on December 19, 2008.
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She had been sitting on the footpath, alone and intoxicated, outside a Frankston nightclub when he offered her a lift to another nearby nightclub where her friends were.
Instead, he drove her to a street in Mornington, took her phone and told her to remove her clothes.
He held one hand over her mouth and another over her throat and raped her, the court heard.
Five days later, he again drove from his Tullamarine home to Frankston where he picked up another young, intoxicated woman.
He punched her in the face and raped her in his car.
Sharifi was jailed for the second offence in 2009, after pleading guilty to two counts of rape and one count of false imprisonment.
He was jailed for a maximum period of nine years and six months.
He was charged with the first rape in 2010 after his DNA was found to match the sample taken from his first victim.
Judge Mark Dean increased Sharifi’s sentence to 14 years with a minimum of seven years and eight months.
Judge Dean said Sharifi’s prospects of rehabilitation were poor and he needed to protect the community from him.
He did not accept a psychological report to the court that Sharifi was very isolated, inexperienced in forming relationships with women and unclear of what constituted consent.
‘‘I do not accept that your offending ... was the product of an ’unclear concept of what constitutes consent in sexual relationships’,’’ Judge Dean said.
‘‘The offence committed by you was an extremely serious act of violence and in my opinion you well knew that the victim was not consenting to the act of sexual penetration that you performed.
‘‘The community does in fact need protection from you.
‘‘Your brutal conduct must be denounced by this court and you must be punished for it.’’
Sharifi, a Shi’ite Muslim, was born in Afghanistan. His family were from the Hazara ethnic minority and were persecuted by the Taliban, who killed his father, the judge said.
Sharifi fled to Pakistan and came to Australia on a temporary protection visa. He was supported by eight Hazara men in court and smiled when he saw them.
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