Salvatore Incandela sentenced to three years in jail for raping Canberra woman while driving home from online date

A man who raped a woman at a Canberra nature reserve in full view of nearby houses has been sentenced to three years in prison by the ACT Supreme Court.

Salvatore Incandela, 41, was found guilty by a jury of one count of rape, after he sexually assaulted the woman in her car.

One of the witnesses filmed a short video of the incident, which became key evidence in the case.

Incandela had offered the woman a lift after she was stranded on the other side of Canberra when a date with another man, arranged through an online dating site, went wrong.

Incandela maintains that the incident, which happened at a nature reserve in Spence, north-west Canberra, was consensual, telling an author of the pre-sentence report:

But the victim gave a harrowing account of the incident and the injuries she suffered as a result.

Chief Justice Lucy McCallum said while it was unclear how the incident began, the woman was clear that she protested when she started bleeding.

“The offense was devastating to the victim,” Chief Justice McCallum said.

Chief Justice McCallum said the woman subsequently suffered from anxiety and had to move house, also suffering from self-blame.

The Chief Justice noted a report that suggested the victim was speaking in the terms and gestures of a much younger person.

“The attacker took advantage of her.

Chief Justice McCallum also noted that Incandela did not admit to being there until after the video was released and did not express remorse.

“Sometimes it takes a while for offenders to come to terms with their offending,” she said.

Incandela was sentenced to three years in prison, with a two-year period not paroled, which means he can be released in 2024.

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