Pizza shop rapist of teen jailed 13 years

·3-min read

A Sydney pizza shop worker who participated in the gang rape of a drugged teenager has been jailed for at least eight years for the "despicable" acts.

Ricardo Audish, 42, claimed the intercourse was consensual but it took a jury just two hours to find him guilty of three charges of aggravated sexual assault in company.

The married man was involved in the degrading sexual abuse of an intoxicated 18-year-old who was effectively passed around from hand to hand and who did not, and could not, consent, Judge David Arnott said.

Audish was sentenced in the NSW District Court on Friday to 13 years' total custody and will first be eligible for parole on December 24, 2028.

His victim has since suffered the overwhelming and long-term consequences of trauma leading to clinical depression and a suicide attempt where she was hospitalised for a month.

The attack occurred in a southern Sydney eatery in October 2016 when he was managing the pizzeria aged 37.

The woman had consented to sex with her boyfriend in a toilet cubicle, before he told her "all the other boys want to have sex with you now", to which she replied "hell no".

After she was given a bong that is suspected to have been spiked, she felt as if "she had got hit in the head and everything was spinning".

The judge believed she was given the intoxicating substance to make her less resistant to the unwanted sexual activity.

After feeling dizzy and shaking her memory became patchy but she recalled Audish and allegedly two other men having unprotected sexual intercourse with her out the back of the restaurant.

Audish originally denied working at the time of the assault and later said the pair did not have intercourse.

But a co-worker's statement and Audish's semen corroborated the woman's story, so he changed his in court.

Audish claimed she started touching his penis and lifted her skirt up for them to have sex, afterward saying words to the effect "it was good".

But this story was dismissed by the jury and the judge who said the woman showed marked signs she was intoxicated and unable to consent.

CCTV footage showed her "sure-footed" walking and sometimes jogging upstairs before the incident, compared to after where she is seen walking slowly, stumbling and leaning on a pole for 17 minutes to regain balance.

A passer-by later found the teenager on a road weeping, shaking and disorientated, and called emergency services.

She later revealed: "They all took turns in me,".

Audish's barrister, Greg James QC, submitted that his client was suffering from PTSD at the time of the attack, having experienced a deprived and brutalised childhood in Iraq.

"He is apparently a good family man," Mr James said.

Judge Arnott acknowledged that growing up in war-torn Baghdad would have caused Audish trauma, but it did not explain this offending.

He continues to feel victimised as an Iraqi in Australia who believes the local community does not accept him, the court was told

The judge agreed with the Crown that he had shown no remorse or contrition, nor was his moral culpability reduced by a mental health condition that was more likely due to his impending court trial.

As the attack was opportunistic the judge found he had reasonable prospects of rehabilitation.

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