UWA law graduate Luigi Rayapen pleads guilty to sexually assaulting woman on Rottnest Island

UWA law graduate Luigi Rayapen pleads guilty to sexually assaulting woman on Rottnest Island

A former law student at the University of Western Australia has been told he is facing a possible jail term after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a woman during post exam celebrations at Rottnest Island.

Luigi Ignace Rayapen, 26, admitted abusing the woman, who was in her 20s, as she tried to sleep in a bed in a bungalow on the holiday island in the early hours of July 1, 2020.

The District Court was told the woman, who cannot be identified, did not know Rayapen, but said he could stay the night at the accommodation she was sharing with others after they had been out drinking.

Three other people were in the room when the abuse happened, including a friend of the woman who was in the same bed.

The court heard Rayapen assaulted the woman as she tried to sleep.(Facebook)

State Prosecutor Rebekah Sleeth said the woman woke up to Rayapen rolling her over and groping her but she pretended to remain asleep in the hope he would stop what he was doing.

However, Rayapen did not and so she repeatedly told him to stop and kept pushing his hand away from her body.

She also tried to kick her friend who was sleeping nearby.

The court heard Rayapen also squeezed her breast so hard it left a bruise and he also bit her on the face while trying to kiss her.

A headshot of Luigi who has olive skin and dark hair
Raya pen only backed off when the woman grabbed him around the throat, the court heard.(Facebook)

It was not until the woman grabbed Rayapen around the throat that he eventually backed away.

Ms Sleeth said the woman then woke up her friend and told them what happened.

Rayapen was told to leave but he would not and ended up staying the night at the bungalow.

Guilty pleas entered for two charges

The court heard Rayapen later said to the woman he was “sorry” and that he hoped she could forgive him.

However, when she saw a police car driving past the bungalow, she flagged it down and reported what happened.

Aerial of Rottnest Island
Rottnest Island lies 18km off the coast of Perth. (Supplied: Rottnest Island Authority)

Rayapen was originally facing four charges, but he pleaded guilty to one count of indecent assault causing bodily harm and one count of [digital] sexual penetration without consent.

The remaining two charges were discontinued on what Ms Sleeth said were “public interest” grounds.

Luigi pictured with two other men wearing old-school suits pictured in a ballroom
Luigi Rayapen was a law student at the University of Western Australia. (Facebook)

Rayapen’s barrister, Julie Condon QC, requested the matter be adjourned, telling the court the defense needed more time to prepare its submissions.

Rayapen had ‘mental health issues’

She said they may include a psychiatric report on Rayapen whom she said had “some mental health issues.”

Ms Condon also said her client had recently completed his degree.

Luigi pictured in front of canals while overseas
Rayapen was on the committee of the Blackstone Society at UWA.(Facebook)

Judge Laurie Levy agreed to release Rayapen on bail until the sentencing hearing, but he told him not to take that as an indication of the penalty he may receive.

“I don’t want you to think because you’ve been granted bail you are not going to jail,” Judge Levy said.

Judge Levy said people “commonly” go to jail for these types of offenses.

Rayapen is due back in court next month.

While studying law at UWA, Rayapen was on the committee of the Blackstone Society which describes itself as the peak representative body for students in the law faculty.