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Posted December 12, A Canberra man who raped and robbed a sex worker with two other men will spend up to three years and eight months in jail, after prosecutors in the ACT Supreme Court described their victims as being in "the most vulnerable of occupations". Rashid Abuuh, 24, pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault, sexual intercourse without consent, attempted sexual intercourse without consent and aggravated robbery.
Prosecutors alleged he and two other men, year-old Mohammed al-Abbasi and year-old Khaled al-Abbasi, booked the sex worker before forcing her into a bedroom and raping her. Both the al-Abbasi brothers pleaded guilty to a number of charges, while Abuuh was found guilty by a jury earlier this year. The two brothers were also convicted of raping another sex worker in the same apartment, but in sentencing Abuuh, Justice Michael Elkaim found the offences "occurred as part of a single criminal enterprise".
During a sentencing hearing, Abuuh's lawyer argued that he should be viewed as playing the smallest role of the three men in the attacks. He argued that while Khaled al-Abbasi led the attacks, Abuuh's role was more limited and that he was "more of a hanger-on than Mohammed". The defence argued an intensive corrections order should be considered, but Justice Elkaim said given the seriousness of the offences, full-time incarceration was "an absolute necessity".
The defence argued Abuuh's background as a Somali refugee whose father died when he was six or seven should be considered in sentencing.
Prosecutors argued a full-time sentence was the only option, noting that in pleading not guilty Abuuh had shown no remorse for his actions. During the sentencing hearing, prosecutors repeated the assessment of Justice David Mossop, who sentenced the Alibassi brothers, that the offences could be considered "thoroughly disgraceful". They noted that the offences were not spontaneous and required some degree of planning, and that co-accused Khaled al-Abbasi had spoken of their motivation to get "free sex and money".