Bendigo is a beautiful Victorian town steeped in Aussie gold-rush history and treasured as an inland jewel by its inhabitants, well by most of them.
Unfortunately a minority of Islamic guests of this iconic town believe it’s quite acceptable to repeatedly rape a young mother of two because it’s quite legal to do that back home.
And back home the poor mother may well have been stoned to death for the lack of four witnesses.
Three Islamic youths denied the charges of rape, attempted rape and indecent assault, forcing the case to a contested hearing requiring the young mother to re-live the nightmare.
A Children's Court heard that none was remorseful and one even believes he is innocent.
Each of the teenagers received the maximum penalty available of three years in a “youth detention centre” and will probably be free and searching for their next victim within a year.
Three other youths involved in the attack, Mohammed Elnour, 19, Akoak Manon, 19, and Mohammed Zaoli, 22, (apologies if the names sound unfairly middle-eastern) all appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates Court charged with a long list of sex offences stemming from the vicious gang rape.
Evidence in footage retrieved from Zaoli’s phone recorded a woman’s voice yelling “no” and “stop”.
But Islam showed its more gentle side when the six youths allowed the mother to check on her two sleeping children before they resumed raping her.
In court the family of the 21 year old woman became emotional as the charges were read out, trying to hold back tears as they sat in the gallery.
In front of them sat the accused about to enjoy re-living the graphic evidence.
Judge Maidment found two of the teenagers, one aged 14 at the time, guilty of four counts of rape and one count of false imprisonment. The other was found guilty of one count of indecent assault.
The judge said the two teenagers had been the instigators of the gang rape and had shown a callous disregard for the emotional and physical welfare of the victim.
He said the attack had involved "serious acts of gang violence" which had caused substantial on-going harm to the mental well-being of the victim and her husband.
The teenagers had shown no remorse.
The judge said he would expect two of the teenagers to rape again if the opportunity arose.
"It is likely both of you would take more care to avoid detection if engaged in similar conduct again," he said.
Incredibly, a jury found Mohammed Saeed Elnour and Mohammed Hussain Zaoli (the germ who filmed the entire rape) had no case to answer and prosecutors have decided not to appeal the decision.
I guess the jury and prosecutors all have accounts at the Bendigo Bank which is promoting the planned Bendigo mosque.