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Australia Canberra labourer with 'an attitude of entitlement' jailed for rape of burlesque dancer

15:46  25 september  2020
15:46  25 september  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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a man wearing a suit and tie: Jake Versteeg was jailed for a minimum of six months, and will be eligible for release in March, 2021. (ABC News: Selby Stewart) © Provided by ABC NEWS Jake Versteeg was jailed for a minimum of six months, and will be eligible for release in March, 2021. (ABC News: Selby Stewart)

A Canberra labourer who pleaded guilty to the rape and indecent assault of a burlesque dancer has been sentenced to jail, after a Supreme Court judge accused the man of minimising his crimes.

Jake Elias Versteeg, 30, initially plead not guilty to the charges, stemming from an attack on a woman at his parents' home in Waramanga, in Canberra's south, in June 2018.

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He changed his plea to guilty on the eve of his trial in June.

This morning, ACT Supreme Court justice John Burns said Versteeg had refused to accept the gravity of his actions and jailed him for a minimum of six months.

"You have attempted to minimise your conduct and depth of offending," Justice Burns said when handing down his sentence.

"Your failure to be honest reduces my belief you will not reoffend."

Rape 'wasn’t a big deal'

A psychologist's report tendered to the court said Versteeg felt the attack "wasn't as big a deal as was being made out" and that he had simply "pushed up against" the victim.

However, Justice Burns had already rejected that version of events before Versteeg met with the psychologist.

Instead, the court heard Versteeg had become infatuated with his victim after meeting her on a burlesque cruise.

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The woman one night drove to his home where the pair kissed consensually, before she made it clear she did not want to have sex.

Versteeg then "forcefully" rolled the victim onto her stomach and removed her clothes before raping her.

"I am satisfied that the complainant told you on multiple occasions during your attack she did not want you to have sexual intercourse with her," Justice Burns told Versteeg during sentencing.

"The offence also involved a degree of physical forcefulness in which the victim was restrained while you forcefully removed her clothes.

"It speaks to an attitude of entitlement where you weren't willing to acknowledge the complainant's pleas."

The court heard the victim tried to leave, but Versteeg grabbed her hand and placed it over his genitals before she managed to flee.

"This is a serious type of this offending," Justice Burns said.

Crime had a 'lasting, detrimental effect'

Versteeg, who was born and raised in the ACT, had a large group of supporters in the court including his mother, the famous Australian burlesque dancer Possum Galore.

They sat quietly as the court was read excerpts from the victim's impact statement.

"The victim suffers feelings of loss of control and anxiety," Justice Burns told the court.

"It has disturbed her sleep and her self-esteem has been damaged.

"It is clear your offending has had a lasting detrimental effect on her."

Versteeg was sentenced to a total of two years and seven months in jail, to be suspended after six months of imprisonment.

Upon release he will be placed on a two-year good behaviour bond and complete a sex offender program.

He will be released from jail in March 2021.

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