A 19-year-old Iraqi refugee charged in the horrific rape of a 15-year-old girl has been granted bail after his father convinced a judge he was a “kind-hearted man.” Abthar Bassam Talib Al-Athmany and his unnamed accomplice repeatedly sexually abused the girl last August at the Parramatta Meriton Suites in Parramatta, Australia.
According to The Daily Telegraph, the girl’s ordeal occurred in August of 2023. In addition to attempting to prostitute the minor on her personal Instagram page, the two men also used a knife to intimidate her to take off her clothes and “perform sexual acts on film.”
Among the allegations against Al-Athmany, whose family settled in Australia in 2011 after “surviving war in Iraq and Syria,” include that the teenage girl was blindfolded using her t-shirt and forced into a cold shower to be repeatedly raped by the men. Court records also revealed that a friend of the girl’s later arrived at the scene and was subjected to similar treatment by the two predators.
After the girls fled the hotel room at around 3:30 a.m., they reported the attack to a relative, who immediately called law enforcement. As a result, Al-Athmany was arrested and “charged with aggravated assault” for the crimes committed against the 15-year-old girl. He has not yet been indicted for attacking the second girl.
Despite the disturbing charges laid against Al-Athmany and disapproval from prosecutors, he was released on bail after spending only three months behind bars.
Justice Richard Button’s decision to release him from custody on a $30,000 bond came after reading a letter written by Al-thmany’s father, Bassam Alothmani, explaining his son was a “kind-hearted, family-oriented man” who was a victim of bullying and suffered from mental health issues including depression.
“My mind has wavered very much as to whether or not, in light of the gravity of what’s alleged, he should spend many, many months in custody, bail refused until all of this is resolved,” said Justice Button regarding his decision.
“I’ve reached the point where on balance, I’ve shied away from that, but I don’t doubt that he and his whole family understand … that if he breaches his bail by a millimeter, my intention is he goes back to jail and stays there.”
“I’ve come to the view that although there are unquestionably risks here, they are just barely mitigated by the rigor of what’s been proposed by his barrister to the point of being rendered acceptable,” he concluded.
Included among the strict release terms decided by Justice Button are that Al-Althmany must not leave his father or brother’s presence unless there is a medical emergency, he has a legal appointment or must report to the police, he must stay within the walls of his family home, he must not use the internet, and he must “receive treatment for his mental health.”
On Wednesday, a reporter for The Daily Telegraph visited Al-Althmany at his home, asking him if he “wished to comment” on the charges. In response, the 19-year-old said he didn’t have much to say other than he was “falsely accused” of his crimes.