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Rapist with IQ of 75 jailed for broad-daylight attack in Ballarat mall

A man who raped a young woman outside a shopping mall in plain view of witnesses has been jailed for eight years.

Jessie Wright grabbed the woman, then 19, from behind as she stood waiting to cross the road and reached under her dress and digitally raped her.

The attack took place in front of other people, outside the Bridge Mall in Ballarat, around 11am on March 5 last year. Three men saw the rape and ran to the screaming woman’s aid as Wright ran away, the County Court heard on Friday.

The victim and the men followed Wright and he went to a police station and admitted to an officer, “I’ve done something bad.” Later, he told investigators he saw the woman and had “a bit of perve” and followed her because he wanted to grab her.

Judge Christopher Ryan said the attack was a serious example of a serious charge, carried out after Wright had initially walked in the opposite direction to the woman, until he turned and followed her.

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