Australia

Man jailed for subjecting woman to 40-hour kidnap, rape ordeal

A Victorian man has been jailed for kidnapping a woman in a horror 40-hour ordeal that started with him slamming her head into a car door and ended in him dropping her at a bus stop.

Matthew Raku Raku raped his victim twice after forcing her into his car on August 12, 2019, and continuously threatened to kill her, making her sleep in a freezing house and in a car before finally setting her free after two nights of hell.

The 26-year-old from Rosebud was sentenced to nine years and eight months prison with a non-parole period of six years in the County Court of Victoria on Friday.

Judge Paul Higham said the victim was a previous survivor of abuse and had worked hard to get her mental health on track before it was thrown into turmoil again by Raku Raku’s heinous acts.

In a victim impact statement Judge Higham read to the court, the victim said she had extreme flashbacks every day and had turned to alcohol to try to cope.

She said she was scared of being inside cars, didn’t like being touched, and felt hopeless since the nightmare Raku Raku brought upon her.

“I don’t feel comfortable or safe to even attempt to make friends,” she said.

Judge Higham said the woman genuinely believed she was going to die.

After forcing her into his car from a Melbourne street and holding a screwdriver to her head to threaten her, Raku Raku drove for four hours to a house in the small town of Glenthompson – making the woman fill the car up with petrol on the way.

He raped her in the home without a condom and took her to a friend’s house the next morning before raping her again in the car without a condom while holding his hand around her throat, letting her go the next morning.

Judge Higham said Raku Raku grew up in a happy, unremarkable and law-abiding home and did not have an intellectual disability or personality disorder.

He began using ice in 2018 and quickly became addicted and was unemployed and selling ice to fund his daily habit at the time of his sickening acts.

His girlfriend wrote a letter to the court, calling Raku Raku a “kind and gentle man”, and he had the support of his mother, Judge Higham said.

Judge Higham told Raku Raku that he was motivated by a “monstrous sense of entitlement” and a desire to “show who was boss” and make someone “bend to your will”.

“Methamphetamine does not, and cannot, excuse it,” he said.

“Rape has nothing to do with desire, it has nothing to do with sexual attraction, it is, quite simply, a crime of invasive violence.

“It uses the physical expressions of intimacy to exert power, control and dominance.”

He said when arrested, Raku Raku admitted kidnapping the woman but said he wouldn’t call it rape because she didn’t physically fight back or say the word no – despite putting her in a state of terror.

He has served 309 days in pre-sentence detention and will be eligible to be released back into the community in 2026.

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