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‘Convoluted’ case as ex-couple avoid jail for chilli attack following rape claim

Zhang returned to the victim’s home and forced him to beg for forgiveness, taking photos of the apology.

She then sent a series of texts to Xie, urging him to come to the apartment.

“He brought chilli powder because he had heard police used it to stop people,” Judge Hogan said of Xie.

On arrival, Xie ran at the victim and threw the powder at his face before kicking him and hitting him with the bottle.

“He told the victim to take off his pants so he could kick him in the genitals,” the judge said.

The victim was bleeding in the bathroom for up to three hours before Zhang and Xie eventually left.

Zhang later tried to blackmail the victim in texts, asking for money or she would ruin his reputation at RMIT University.

“Your legal counsel rather aptly described the whole scenario as like a soap opera,” Judge Hogan said.

The judge said Xie’s assault was misguided.

“I consider your moral culpability to be less than Ms Zhang’s,” she told Xie.

“You seemed to act out of misguided loyalty or chivalry, whereas Ms Zhang’s offending was vindictive and manipulative.”

Zhang and Xie started a relationship after they separately came to Melbourne to study. They have since broken up.

Xie was studying business and working as a personal trainer, but was forced to stop when his student and work visa was cancelled after the criminal charges.

He was sentenced to an 18-month community corrections order with 200 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty to intentionally causing injury and false imprisonment.

Zhang pleaded guilty to intentionally causing injury and blackmail, receiving a three-year community corrections order with 300 hours of community work.

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