ACT News

Belconnen man faces court for sexual assault after using fake Facebook account

A Canberra man posed as a young woman via a fake Facebook profile to lure and rape another man, a court has heard.

And a police informant says there could be more victims.

Billy Bartolomeus Tamawiwy, a 22-year-old Indonesian national, was denied bail when he appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

He is charged with two counts of sexual intercourse without consent, blackmail, using a carriage service to transmit child pornography material, and using a carriage service to harass.

Court documents said an 18-year-old man had been contacted by a Tayla Edwards – who police allege was an online alias created by the accused – via the social media site on August 29, and he added the account so he would look more popular and have a large friends list.

The pair initially chatted about general topics, such as age, school, and work.

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But the conversation shifted to sex, with the Edwards account telling the teen she was bisexual and would only be interested in him if he would "do things" with another man.

The Edwards account allegedly promised that she and two of her friends would have sex with him if he had sex with a man.

The teen initially refused, but was allegedly coaxed into agreeing with promises of free drinks and cannabis, and sex.

The teen then allegedly met Tamawiwy – whom he recognised as they were Facebook friends – at his Belconnen flat, where the pair had sex.

The defendant allegedly filmed the entire incident.

The teen then allegedly received further messages from social media accounts in the name Tayla Edwards, which included child pornography.

The teen was then sent to a Civic address under the pretense of having sex with Tayla Edwards, but instead he received a message that said the footage would be shared with his family and friends if he did not continue to have sex with Tamawiwy.

The teen realised he had been set up, but did not contact police until his 13-year-old brother received a Facebook message from Tayla Edwards that contained two videos.

He told police he would not have consented to the sex if he had not been promised sex with Tayla Edwards and her friends.  

Police raided Tamawiwy's Belconnen flat on Monday and seized electronic equipment that allegedly contained the video, and details of accounts in the name of Tayla Edwards.

Tamawiwy was arrested and allegedly made some admissions in a police interview, including that he created the Tayla Edwards account because he wanted revenge after someone posted nude pictures of him on a webpage.

He also allegedly said he did not want to have sex with the teen, but the alleged victim had insisted.

Tamawiwy also allegedly admitted he had contacted other men using the Tayla Edwards account.

In court on Tuesday, Tamawiwy's bail application was opposed by the prosecution, who argued the accused posed a flight risk, could interfere with evidence or obstruct justice, or commit further offences.

A police informant told the court the defendant studied international relations at the University of Canberra on a scholarship from the Indonesian government.

The informant said Tamawiwy had deleted the account and police had contacted Facebook in order to retrieve its contents.

Defence lawyers from Legal Aid told the court the risks could be mitigated by strict bail conditions, including a surety, reporting to police daily, surrendering his passport and promising to not access social media and live in Belconnen.

The defence lawyer said her client had no police record and his incarceration would affect his studies.

Magistrate Bernadette Boss refused bail on the grounds the defendant posed a flight risk, could interfere with evidence, and may harass the complainant.

Dr Boss said the nature of social media meant it would be easy to remove information or interfere with evidence.

Dr Boss also said the accused had expressed revenge as a reason for his actions and there had been no information put before the court to show he would not continue to use that motive to teach random people a lesson.

Tamawiwy was marked as a prisoner at risk.

He will reappear before the court again later this month.

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