Canadian soldier charged with rape
A CANADIAN Armed Forces soldier on recreational leave from fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan has been charged with the rape of a German traveller in a Byron Bay backpackers.
David Langlois-Fequet, 22, appeared before Byron Bay Local Court yesterday charged with having sexual intercourse without consent with the young traveller in a shared dormitory room of the Holiday Village at 2am on December 8.
Defence lawyer Tom Trembath applied to magistrate Nicholas Reimer that police return his client’s Canadian passport and allow him to leave Australia because the Army Private was due to return to his 1st Combat Engineering Regiment in Afghanistan.
Mr Trembath said the combat engineer was expected to return to Afghanistan on December 10 but unfortunately the criminal charge had changed those plans.
He assured the court Langlois-Fequet would return to face the charge and mentioned that Australia also had an extradition treaty with Canada.
Mr Trembath said the soldier had been deployed to Afghanistan for about six to eight months and would be in ‘limbo land’ if he did not get his passport back. The lawyer said if the matter went to trial this was unlikely to occur before late 2010.
“Do we just let him go?” Mr Reimer asked.
“He can put up $1000 cash,” Mr Trembath replied.
“He has got to go back to Afghanistan.”
In police allegations put before the court, the young woman said she was asleep beside her boyfriend in a bottom bunk of the dorm room and woke after feeling someone between her legs.
She realised it was not her boyfriend and kicked out at the man and screamed for help.
The woman told police she went to bed dressed in a T-shirt and boxer pants but woke to discover she had no pants on.
Police did not oppose bail and Mr Reimer granted the soldier bail with the lodgement of $1000.
His Canadian passport was returned.
No plea was entered and the matter was adjourned to February 16.