Man who used fake female Facebook profile in rape sentenced to almost five years' jail term
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Man who used fake female Facebook profile in rape sentenced to almost five years' jail term

A young Canberra man who used a fake female Facebook profile to trick a teenage boy into having sex with him has been sentenced to four years and 10 months' jail for rape.

The victim of Billy Tamawiwy, 23, was left "scarred for life" after he was targeted by an elaborate fraud designed to dupe teenagers across Canberra last year.

Billy Tamawiwy was sentenced to four years and 10 months' imprisonment over the elaborate fraud that led to rape.

Billy Tamawiwy was sentenced to four years and 10 months' imprisonment over the elaborate fraud that led to rape.Credit:Reuters

He still experiences recurring nightmares about the night he agreed to meet Tamawiwy, after being told that having sex with him would guarantee sex with "Tayla Edwards".

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Tamawiwy had created a fake Facebook profile in the name of Ms Edwards using images found on Google, before starting online conversations with random male teenagers.

Billy Tamawiwy, pictured, is likely to be deported upon his release

Billy Tamawiwy, pictured, is likely to be deported upon his releaseCredit:Facebook

The conversations quickly became sexualised, and victims were told they could have sex with Ms Edwards if they had sex with a man named "Christian" first. That man was Tamawiwy.

The victim agreed to meet him and drank significant amounts of alcohol before reluctantly participating in the intercourse.

Tamawiwy filmed the encounter and later threatened the victim and sent images to the his family.

He was later tracked down by police and charged with a series of offences, including sexual intercourse without consent, an act of indecency, and using a carriage service to menace, threaten or harass.

Tamawiwy fought the rape charges at trial, represented by barrister James Lawton.

But a jury quickly found him guilty, on the basis he fraudulently obtained consent for the intercourse.

Justice Richard Refshauge on Wednesday sentenced Tamawiwy to four years and 10 months' jail, with a non-parole period of two years and two months.

That means he will be eligible for parole in November next year. He is likely to be deported to Indonesia once released.

In handing down his sentence, Justice Refshauge described the rape charges as "particularly frightening" and "vindictive". The judge said the deception was complex and required significant planning and pre-meditation.

"In my view, the only sentence is a sentence of imprisonment, to be served by full-time custody," he said.

The court was told the victim was still struggling to come to terms with what had happened to him but hoped the worst period of his life had now come to an end.

Tamawiwy still could not accept the verdicts of the jury, the court was told. He was described as "well-educated but immature".

His youth and traumatic childhood in Indonesia were taken into account in sentencing, as was his co-operation at trial in narrowing the issues in dispute.

Tamawiwy had said he was likely to face persecution upon return to Indonesia.

At trial, defence barrister Mr Lawton had argued that consent had been freely given on the promise of sex with Ms Edwards, rather than on any fraudulent representation of fact.

Mr Lawton described the offer of sex with Ms Edwards as a "reward" that was "enthusiastically pursued".

He argued the victim's consent was not negated simply because the reward was never given.

Christopher Knaus is a reporter for The Canberra Times.

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