Fri, Apr 27, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Taiwanese wins compensation over rape in Australia

AP , SYDNEY

A judge in Australia held a state-owned railroad partly responsible for the rape of a Taiwanese woman because her ankle injury weeks earlier at a train station prevented her from escaping her attacker, a newspaper reported yesterday.

The court ordered the New South Wales state government to compensate the woman with A$240,000 (US$200,000) after ruling that the state-owned RailCorp shared responsibility for the woman's attack at a private home, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

RailCorp said in a statement yesterday that it "has concerns over the judgment and will be appealing the case."

The woman had been in Sydney studying English when she lost her footing on slippery stairs at a railway station in December 2002, the paper said.

A few weeks later, while still on crutches and with her leg in plaster, she was raped and beaten at a man's home. She told the New South Wales District Court she could not get away because of her broken ankle.

She became depressed after the assault, lost her will to socialize and her hair turned gray. She was also concerned about her inability to marry and have children, the court heard.

Judge John Goldring found she would not have been sexually assaulted if her ankle had not been in plaster. Goldring also found "the psychological injury" she suffered from the rape "is within the scope of responsibility" of RailCorp, the newspaper said.

She was awarded A$240,000 on April 4 for the injury, medical expenses and lost wages, the newspaper said.

Court officials could not immediately confirm the ruling.

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