The West

Man claims taxi sex consensual
Man claims taxi sex consensual

A taxi driver has appeared in court on charges of raping a wheelchair-bound passenger, with the court told he was claiming the speech-impaired woman had consented.

The court was told Peter Edward Kasatchkow, 58, had picked up the woman, who is aged in her 20s and has cerebral palsy, from respite care and was meant to drive her home in his maxi taxi.

But during the journey he is alleged to have pulled into a parking lot at Belmont Race Course and sexually assaulted and raped her after climbing into the back of the taxi with her.

The Perth Magistrate’s Court was told the woman was “almost unable to speak", was wheelchair bound and required full-time care.

She had managed to indicate to her carers to get the cab details when she reached her destination.

The court was also told the accused man had driven the alleged victim before.

The alleged incident was captured on the taxi’s camera system leading to what the prosecution said was a strong case.

A duty lawyer told the court her client wanted bail and would fight the charges.

"He has indicated that the victim consented ... so he will be defending the charges," she said.

The accused man had no criminal record and had a long work history - including a stint working for facility services in the Education Department - and ties to the State which she submitted lessened his flight risk.

But the magistrate agreed with the police prosecution that bail should be refused, saying he had concerns about releasing the accused man given the vulnerability of the alleged victim and the inevitability of jail if convicted.

The accused taxi driver’s case was adjourned to March 4.

The West Australian

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