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Rapist who attacked young handicapped woman jailed

A TOOWOOMBA man who raped a mildly intellectually handicapped woman has been jailed for five years.

Joshua Aaron Ralph had been emotional after the funeral of his great-grandfather when he arrived home to find the 27-year-old woman watching DVDs with his housemate on July 14, last year.

The complainant woman gave him a hug in support and he had gone with her back to her home to retrieve more DVDs, Toowoomba District Court heard.

After he followed her into the house and shut the door behind them, she had suspected something was wrong and asked the then 27-year-old to leave.

However, Ralph had then kissed her on the lips and squeezed her buttocks, the court heard.

The woman had given Ralph a tour of the house but when they got to her bedroom he had undressed and had sex with her despite her telling him to stop and leave.

Ralph had then left and the woman went to police and Toowoomba Hospital.

When spoken to by police Ralph claimed the woman hadn't said "no" or resisted and that he had thought the sex was consensual but later had concerns that it was not.

Ralph pleaded guilty to a charge of rape on the grounds that he may have been mistaken in thinking the woman had consented.

In her victim impact statement, the woman reported of feeling isolated and distrustful since the incident, and was seeing a psychologist, the court heard.

Defence barrister David Jones told the court his client had some mental health issues himself and that he had been diagnosed with bipolar and schizophrenia when growing up.

His client was in a very emotional state at the time and was remorseful, he said.

Ralph had not applied for bail when he was initially arraigned and had spent 66 days in pre-sentence custody, Mr Jones said.

Judge Dennis Lynch QC accepted the defendant's conduct had not been planned but impulsive.

"You took advantage of a vulnerable young woman," he told the prisoner.

Judge Lynch accepted there was no violence or threats "but she made it clear to you she wanted you to stop".

Ralph was sentenced to five years in jail with the term to be suspended for five years after he had served 20 months behind bars with 66 days pre-sentence custody declared as time served under the sentence.



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