Vic barista raped woman after night out

Rick Goodman

A Victorian judge has said that as a younger man he might've referred to the actions of a rape victim as teasing but it still doesn't excuse the offender in what he says is an "unusual case".

That behaviour included the 23-year-old partially undressing in front of the man and sleeping on a nearby couch, Judge Richard Smith said in the County Court.

Indra Bhandari, 30, is facing likely jail time and deportation for raping the woman on a couch at her Melbourne home after they kissed in a park during a night out.

The Nepalese barista had denied the charge but a jury found him guilty earlier this month because the woman did not consent to having sex that night in March 2017.

Earlier that night, Bhandari and the victim, 23, had been drinking at a pub in Fitzroy and had kissed in a park.

Bhandari walked her home and she invited him to stay on a couch as he had work in the area the next morning.

She partially undressed in front of Bhandari and went to bed on a different couch, the County Court jury heard.

The woman, a traveller from overseas, shared a bedroom with another woman but didn't go to her bed.

She did not want anything sexual and when Bhandari made advances she asked him to leave.

But he had sex with her without consent, possibly while she was asleep.

Judge Smith described it as an "unusual" case and one at the lower end of the scale, given the events leading up to the crime.

"Look, when I was a younger man, I might've referred to it as teasing," Judge Smith said at a pre-sentence hearing for Bhandari on Thursday.

"She chooses to stay on the other couch and undresses in front of the offender.

"It is an unusual case and I think that has to be taken into account."

But the judge said ultimately Bhandari was responsible for understanding sexual consent.

"He's not excused. He's responsible," Judge Smith said.

The victim said her outlook on life had changed since the rape, having previously been a trusting and positive person.

"I never really felt unsafe. I never before lived in fear," she said in her victim impact statement, read by prosecutor Damian Plummer.

"I'm not saying I'll never be happy again. I will. I just see things differently now."

Bhandari was found guilty of rape and sexual assault.

Defence lawyer Sophie Parsons said Bhandari was born in Nepal and travelled to Australia on a student visa to work and study.

He was taken into immigration detention after the allegations, including four months on Christmas Island.

Bhandari is now in custody in Melbourne and likely to face a jail term when he is sentenced on July 12.

He is likely to be deported after serving his sentence, Ms Parsons said.