UPDATED September 26, 10.30am: Suppression orders in this case have been revoked. The names of the offenders have been restored to the report.
MODIFIED 5.06pm: Although no suppression order was sought today, the Alice Springs News Online has just been informed that an earlier order may still be in force. Until this is clarified we are removing the names of the offenders from our report.
By KIERAN FINNANE
Two young men, Norman Kernan and Ginger Green, this morning pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court in Alice Springs to eight counts of sexual intercourse without consent with two international tourists in May 2 last year, as well as one count of robbery.
The young women, one from Germany, the other from Finland, were asleep in their car in a suburban street in Alice when the assaults began shortly before 3am.
A third Aboriginal male was involved but has never been arrested for want of evidence against him. The victims have been unable to identify him; there was no DNA evidence related to him; and the perpetrators have not assisted the police to identify him. For the time being, all avenues of inquiry to bring him to justice have been exhausted, the Officer In Charge told the Alice Springs News Online outside court this morning.
All three offenders had their faces partially covered, at least initially.
The victims endured vaginal penetration by fingers and penis and attempted anal penetration. They were forced to perform fellatio and one, to submit to cunnilingus, amongst other humiliating abuses. At times different acts were performed by two of the offenders at the same time with the one victim. Both women had to endure this. At times both of them had a rifle pointed at their heads.
The German woman, who the Alice News understands was the older and who expressed her anguish at being unable to protect her friend, was the victim in five counts; the Finnish woman, in three.
As the details of the rapes and parts of the distressing victim impact statements were read out in court this morning the offenders sank below the dock, such was either their embarrassment or shame.
Kernan was seventeen and a half at the time; Green was seventeen and one month. They have been in custody ever since and are now both obviously eighteen. Their lawyers submitted that they be dealt with under the Youth Justice Act but Justice Dean Mildren did not seem very convinced: a great number of authorities argue that if juveniles commit adult offences, youth justice principles should take second place, he said. General and specific deterrence must take priority in a case like this.
Sentencing will take place on Friday afternoon.