Woman raped after rejecting threesome in western Victoria

17:35' 08-04-2019
Two men raped a woman in a caravan after she rejected their offer of a threesome in western Victoria in 2016.
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    A young woman feels helpless and fears returning to Victoria years after she was raped by two friendswho propositioned her for a threesome.
    The victim rejected the sexual advances ofShaun Bloomfield and Luke Merryfull when the trio were alone in a caravan at Balmoral, in western Victoria back in 2016.
    The victim said "absolutely no way" and "no" to the men, but her pleas were ignored, the Victorian County Court heard on Monday.
    "She said that throughout the ordeal," prosecutor Daryl Brown told the Victorian County Court.

    In an attempt to avoid the men, she wrapped herself in a blanket and rolled away. But she could not avoid them.
    Both men, now aged 24, denied the crime at a trial earlier this year, arguing it was consensualsex.
    A jury found Bloomfield guilty of two counts of rape and one count of sexual assault, and Merryfull guilty of rape.
    In a statement, the woman said she still struggled to cope three years later.
    "I feel helpless and stuck in an awful situation," Mr Brown read from the statement.
    The woman, who has since moved interstate, said she feels ostracised in her former community.
    "I fear going home to visit my family."
    The attack had put her life on hold, she had lost trust in people and she needs medication, she said.
    The crime had aggravating features including multiple offenders and a breach of trust, Mr Brown added.

    "She had a right to feel safe in their company and that trust was broken and they took advantage of it," he said.
    Supporters ofBloomfield andMerryfull  packed the Melbourne courtroom on Monday.
    A lawyer for Merryfull said it was a "testament" to the men that so many people still supported them.
    "I don't often see this many people in court ... this is extraordinary," County Court JudgeGerard Mullaly noted.

    Lawyers for both men said the crimes were not premeditated and were opportunistic, which should be taken into account for sentencing.
    Neither of them had any prior criminal history.
    Bloomfield and Merryfull are due to be sentenced on Wednesday.

    By: Caroline Schelle - AAP

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