Six years behind bars for Uber driver who raped teen
An Uber driver who raped a drunk schoolgirl in the back of his car in Sydney's eastern suburbs will spend at least six years behind bars.
In February Turkish national Onur Dedeoglu was found guilty of sexual intercourse without consent and two counts of indecent assault after attacking the 17-year-old in a Bondi Beach car park.
The 39-year-old married father was sentenced to a maximum eight-and-a-half years in prison with a non-parole period of six years at Downing Centre District Court on Tuesday.
Judge Nicole Noman SC said Dedeoglu had shown no remorse and even claimed his victim "propositioned him" after he drove her and two other mates home from a night out partying in August 2018.
"The victim was still a child who was entitled to safety and protection from predatory conduct," she said.
"Dedeoglu … took advantage of her vulnerability. She was asleep and unable to protect herself."
In a victim impact statement, the distraught teen said she felt violated and lost, adding she would have to deal with the trauma "for the rest of my life."
"I'm angry that at 17 years old I have to see the world through a different lens and question men's intentions," she said.
The then-Year 12 student's Higher School Certificate studies suffered following the attack as she grappled with overwhelming feelings of sadness, the court heard.
"Finishing high school was meant to be one of the most enjoyable periods of my teenage years," she said.
Dedeoglu said he was bashed at Villawood detention centre in October 2018 when his Visa was cancelled following the charges, and his wife and toddler son have now returned to Turkey amid the coronavirus pandemic.
During the trial Dedeoglu claimed the teen had changed her mind during consensual sexual activity and later reported it to police out of shame.
But the jury accepted the prosecution case that the girl had passed out in the back seat and woke to find the Liverpool man - 20 years her senior - on top of her.
Justice Noman said Dedeoglu was not an impressive witness, labelling his account as "highly improbable."
The schoolgirl was exhausted after trial Year 12 exams and drank six drinks during a friend's 18th birthday party in Sydney's CBD before catching an Uber home about 1.30am on August 26.
Dedeoglu drove the girl to her house in North Bondi after dropping off her two male friends, but upon discovering she was asleep he turned off his rideshare app, Justice Noman said.
He then pulled into a car park near the beach and digitally raped her, with Dedeoglu's DNA later found on the child's bra, underwear and pants zipper, the court heard.
Justice Noman said Dedeoglu breached the trust placed in him as a rideshare driver, yet continues to claim his innocence which speaks to his lack of insight.
Dedeoglu was given police bail after first being charged but once his Visa was cancelled he was held in immigration detention where he was hospitalised from an assault.
But his Visa status decision was overturned and around one month later in November 2018 Dedeoglu was released on bail again.
He is now in custody at Parklea jail and says almost all programs and education opportunities have been cancelled due to COVID-19 risks, while inmates can only spend two hours outside of their cells per day.
"Mostly we are locked in all the time … I'm not getting proper medical support too," he said.
Dedeoglu, who now has no family in Australia, says he can only call his wife and two-year-old son "a couple of times a week."
Justice Noman reduced Dedeoglu's sentence slightly in recognition that coronavirus had made his life in custody harder.
Originally published as Six years behind bars for Sydney Uber driver who raped teen