Asylum seeker who came to Australia by boat charged over alleged rape of foster-home girl
AN asylum seeker who came to Australia illegally by boat has been charged for allegedly raping a teenage foster-home girl he held captive for one month.
The girl was only rescued when police found her running “barefoot” down a Western Sydney street at 1.30am yesterday.
It is alleged Bangladeshi national Rashadul Islam, 29, grabbed the girl and attempted to drag her away before the police intervened.
He met the 15-year-old, it is understood, in a chance encounter after she left a Western Sydney group foster home last month.
The Saturday Telegraph has been told she was reported missing by the facility almost immediately, but was not seen again until police allegedly found her being chased along Balmoral St in Blacktown by Islam.
When questioned by police, the teenager alleged Islam had sexually assaulted her and kept her against her will for four weeks.
Neighbour Amarjeet Singh said the girl “was barefoot running down the street in a white shirt when police caught up with her”.
“She seemed scared and was asking police to help her.
“Across the road was a man in his late 20s talking to police and shouting at the girl.”
Islam was refused bail in Blacktown Local Court yesterday on charges of aggravated sexual assault and common assault.
The girl was taken to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead for medical assessment but was later released.
An insider told The Saturday Telegraph that Islam was among the thousands of asylum seekers who arrived illegally by boat under the Rudd government.
It is understood he arrived by boat on March 24, 2013.
He was taken off the boat in waters off Christmas Island — along with a number of other asylum seekers — and held in a community detention facility at Phosphate Hill on Christmas Island for two months.
Islam was released on May 15, 2013 and flown to Australia. He was later granted a bridging visa.
Under Labor policy at the time, asylum seekers were permitted release into the community without stringent security checks.
Islam has since been allowed to reside in the Blacktown community.
Joe Chen, the owner of the Blacktown house that Islam shared, told The Saturday Telegraph he had let the room to the 29-year-old two months ago. The teenager had started living there three weeks ago.
“He said she was a girlfriend,” Mr Chen said. “(I) saw them together making dinner … shopping together, always together.”
Mr Chen said Islam had a lock on his bedroom door.
“Last night about one o’clock police knock on my door and ask for a key,” he said.
A Department of Family and Community Services spokesman said it was “deeply saddened” by the alleged sexual assault, but would not comment further as the case was before the courts.
Islam will appear in Penrith Local Court on November 8.