WITH a smile and a raised middle finger, gang rape victim Tegan Wagner yesterday stared down her attackers and uttered the words she has been waiting four long years to say.
"See ya, guys. Have a nice life. Enjoy prison."
As they were ushered out of the NSW Supreme Court to the cells below, rapist brothers MSK and MAK returned Ms Wager's greeting with an uncomfortable grin of their own.
MSK also mouthed the words, "I'm sorry", but was met with a curt, "F--- you mate, go to hell" from his 18-year-old victim.
For Ms Wagner, her gesture brought as much closure as the jail sentences just passed, which will keep her main attacker behind bars until 2024. ...
The specifics of the case, in which the defendants are identified only by their initials:
Ms Wagner was just 14 when she was raped by the Pakistani brothers after being plied with alcohol at their Ashfield home in June 2002. She had gone there with friends who knew the pair, but she had never met them before that night.
MSK, 27, and MAK, 26, are currently serving long sentences for the rapes of two other girls.
Yesterday, Justice Peter Hidden extended their time behind bars for their attacks on Ms Wagner and, in the case of MSK, the rape of a 13-year-old girl a month later.
Significantly, the Australian court rejected the claim that the defendants' responsibility was diminished because their Muslim background left them ill-prepared to deal with women in a civilized manner:
Justice Hidden yesterday rejected claims by MSK that the rapes occurred because of his cultural background.
In evidence to the court, MSK claimed women were perceived differently in the small, fiercely Muslim Pakistan village where he grew up and that Australian women were considered morally loose.
"The effect of his evidence was, he saw both victims as promiscuous and believed they had no right to repel his sexual advances," the judge said.
"(But) he must have had sufficient exposure to the Australian way of life to be aware the place occupied by women in the traditional culture of his area of origin is far removed from our social norms.
"He can have been in no doubt that to treat those two young women in the manner he did was utterly unacceptable."