A removalist who gave a “woozy and intoxicated” woman a lift home from a party said two words when she woke up as he started to raping her.
A removalist who gave a “woozy and intoxicated” woman a lift home from a party said two words when she woke up as he started to raping her.

Rapist’s creepy words to nurse he violated

A once passionate nurse slipped into a deep spiral of drug use, severe depression and homelessness after being raped by a Sydney removalist three years ago, a court has heard.

Frightened of unwanted advances of another man, the woman had sought shelter in Tareq Mikhael Setto's work van after asking for a lift home from a party in Darlinghurst on August 13, 2017.

Woozy and intoxicated, the woman passed out and woke in the blackened vehicle to find herself lying in the cabin, her legs spread with the 39-year-old starting to have sex with her.

"It's OK," he said.

Tareq Mikhael Setto has been jailed for a rape in inner Sydney in 2017. Picture: AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi
Tareq Mikhael Setto has been jailed for a rape in inner Sydney in 2017. Picture: AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi

Setto will spend at least five years and six months in prison after being convicted by a jury of aggravated sexual at trial in June.

Judge Sarah Huggett sentenced him to a maximum of 9 years jail on Friday, saying the father-of-two intentionally deprived the woman of her liberty before the "opportunistic" but "premeditated" attack.

"At the time he did that I have no doubt at all (she) had not given him consent to engage in that conduct," she said.

"He took advantage of her condition without the need of threats or violence."

He was found guilty of the aggravated sexual assault against the 26-year-old woman. Picture: AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi
He was found guilty of the aggravated sexual assault against the 26-year-old woman. Picture: AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi

In a victim impact statement read to the Downing Centre District Court, his victim, now 29, said she had twice attempted to take her own life in the years since the attack.

She lost her dream job and the savings she hoped to buy a house with, and support her mother, after going down a "dark path" of drug and alcohol abuse.

"This person did deprive me of my liberty, and he did rape me," she said.

"These mere few minutes of pleasure for him took everything away from my whole life."

She said the "so-called man" who attacked her had rendered her unable to carry out normal day-to-day tasks.

Formally a passionate and hardworking nurse, her family resented the person she became, her statement said.

Tareq Mikhael Setto pleaded not guilty at trial. Picture: AAP Image/Joel Carrett
Tareq Mikhael Setto pleaded not guilty at trial. Picture: AAP Image/Joel Carrett

"Months went past and I was unable to work, (I was) struggling to leave the bed let alone the house," she said.

"When I closed my eyes this fear would run over me like someone was going to grab me."

The court heard on the day of the attack Setto first drove the van to woman's street, but he and a work colleague refused her attempts to get out.

She passed out and later woke to find herself alone with Setto, with the Iraq-born driver removing her pants before having sex with her despite attempts to push him away.

The attack took place in Woolloomooloo.
The attack took place in Woolloomooloo.

The white van had been parked in Nicholson St, Woolloomooloo, its windows blacked out with fabric to prevent people seeing inside.

CCTV revealed it was stationary for 19 minutes.

After the rape Setto's colleague, who was not charged, walked the woman away from the van and gave her a cigarette.

Judge Huggett said she would have been experiencing cognitive and motor impairment at the time of the rape, having returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.157 when being treated at hospital.

In sentencing Judge Huggett acknowledged Setto had no criminal history and had himself a traumatic upbringing growing up in war-torn Baghdad.

He will be eligible for parole in December 2025.

 

 

Originally published as Work van rapist's creepy words


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