Sitting on a wall looking out to the ocean, you’d expect a young man who had just paid $30,000 to escape a rape charge would be doing some deep soul searching.
He was after all, about to board a plane home to Australia, after waiting seven months for a rape trial that he had managed to avoid.
But Dylan Djohan wasn’t examining his life choices. But he did have an epiphany that day. He wrote on Instagram that as he gazed out to the ocean he heard a ‘soft voice’ telling him that his destiny was to ‘bed heavenly blessed beauties’. According to The Age, he also reflected on the possibility of joining the “Mile High Club” with a member of the cabin crew before he boarded his flight back to Melbourne.
Seven months after being charged with raping a 17-year-old woman in a nightclub with his two friends, that’s what Dylan Djohan had learned: He was born to sleep with good-looking women, and maybe he’d get to do it on the plane on the way home from his extended stay in Croatia.
Looking at the photos, you don’t get a sense that this is a man who is contrite, or a man who is feeling deeply grateful. Except for his finely-honed physique, about which Djohan writes, “4 days into my Adonis shred and these cuts are coming in deeper than the Baltic seas. My gift from the gods was this blessed block of heathen marble … My curse from the gods is that I must sculpt it with my bare hands.
It’s hard to believe that this is a man who just days before had pleaded guilty to the gang rape of a 17-year-old fellow-traveller.
This week, Dylan Djohan, 23, and his two friends, Ashwin Kumar, 23, and Waleed Latif, 21, returned to Melbourne after pleading guilty to raping a Norwegian backpacker last July at a bar in Split, Croatia.
Even though the maximum sentence for rape in Croatia is 15 years in prison, Djohan, Kumar and Latif pleaded guilty to the rape and paid €20,000 (about $31,500AUD, each man paying just over $10,000) in a deal made between Croation prosecutors and the men’s defence team. The money will go to their victim, who was able to elect a monetary payment instead of reliving her ordeal in a trial. The men also received a five year good behaviour bond, which is enforceable in Europe, but not in Australia.
The rape occurred in July 2015 when police say the men sat drinking at a bar overlooking the ocean and plotted to assault the woman. One of the three forceably pulled her into a nightclub bathroom. The two other men followed and the three of them raped the woman. In their defence, two of the men originally said they had consensual sex with the woman, and one said he was not involved. Investigators found three semen samples on the woman’s clothes.
Djohan, Kumar and Latif who all loved to work out and party had left Melbourne with a group of friends in June, traveling to Ibiza before heading to Croatia for the Ultra Music Festival in July. Since their arrest, the men have been free on bail in Croatia, and they have been receiving consular assistance from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
In their advice to travelers, DFAT does not describe Croatia as a particularly dangerous place for women. Travelers are simply encouraged to take the usual precautions – and not injure themselves jumping off cliffs into the crystal blue water. People who live in Croatia say that they do not fear for their personal safety, and rate crimes such as corruption as more likely than being attacked.
But in this case, it seems it was not the locals that traveling women needed to fear. It was three Australian men.
Over the past year, there have been several high-profile campaigns to keep misogynists and men who promote rape out of the country. Successive Foreign Ministers have refused visas to people who the Ministers say express views about women that do not accord with Australian values.
But these three men, Djohan, Kumar and Latif don’t need a visa. They are free to return because this is their home.
These men, who told a Croatian court that they were guilty of raping a woman and paid a fine instead of spending time in prison, are ours.
They belong to us. They will walk freely in Australia after paying just $10,000 each.
Next time we think about the people we want to keep out of Australia, it’s worth reflecting on the Australians we grow here – and the Australians we carelessly send out to the rest of the world.