Three Australian men convicted of raping a teenager while on holiday in Croatia return home today, after paying over $30,000 to her family to avoid jail.
The men were arrested in July 2015, after attacking the 17-year-old Norwegian backpacker in the toilet of a nightclub in Split, Croatia’s second-largest city.
They had their passports confiscated, and were facing up to 15 years in jail for the attack, but chose to take a deal that would enable them to leave the country.
The three men were given a one year suspended sentence, and each ordered to pay $10,200 to the victim’s family.
In December, Spilt’s County Court heard that at around 1.30am on July 16, 2015, one of the three men dragged the girl into the toilets of the nightclub, where he was joined by his friends.
The men, one 21-year-old and two 23-year-olds, then began to assault her, but she was ultimately able to fight them off and escape “at the very last moment”, the court heard.
The three Australians admitted to the court that they were with the girl in the club, but insisted they did not use force.
They were charged with attempted rape and having “endangered the girl’s sexual freedom”.
The men spent the better part of six months unable to leave Croatia, while the deal that would enable them to leave the country was worked out.
They will arrive back in Australia as early as today, where the good-behaviour bond issued by the Croatian court will not be enforceable.
The identities of the men, and what state or territory they are from, was never released by the court.