In October 2018, a 39-year-old woman was raped as she walked to work at Melbourne Hospital, when a 19-year-old man grabbed her from behind, placed his hands over her mouth, and pulled her into the laneway.
Jackson Williams, now 21 years old, was found not guilty of attempting to sexually assault the woman on October 21. He was found guilty of a common assault on the attack.
Chilling’s surveillance video revealed the incident occurred by New Zealand non-commissioned detective Adrian Woodgate, who was in Melbourne on vacation with his family.
Judge Mandy Fox said that while the incident was a “intentional and violent assault,” she was not convinced beyond reasonable doubt that Williams planned to sexually harass the woman.
“Forcing a person to a more secluded spot is consistent with a range of criminal intentions,” Fox said.”It may be tempting to reason that because his body is on top of hers for a period during the assault … then there must be a sexual intention.”
Fox added, “However, a dispassionate viewing of the CCTV footage shows that he is using his weight to control the complainant, who might be smaller and weaker but is still resisting and screaming.
“I, therefore, find the accused not guilty.”
Although the motive of an individual is hard to prove beyond reasonable doubt, many have taken to Twitter to condemn Judge Fox’s not guilty verdict.