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Mentally disabled young man rapes 16-year-old girl on busy street in broad daylight

By Mason White 11:14 AM April 28, 2015
Student walking on street illustration 

By: Feng Qian
A mentally disabled young man was arrested, charged and convicted of rape, after raping teen girl on a busy street, prosecutors in Australia said.

20-year-old Joel Russo was released from a juvenile detention center just three days before raping the 16-year-old girl in broad daylight.

He was granted parole after serving less than 12 months in jail for armed robbery.

According to the police investigation, Russo was seen lurking in the women’s bathroom at the Caulfield Plaza mall and then on a college campus.

Around 8:00 a.m., he went outside and grabbed a female runner before allowing her to go. A few minutes later, he grabbed a 16-year-old girl.

Russo put his hand over her mouth and told her to shut up or face death. The girl screamed as Russo raped her. The girl was found laying on her back and crying by a male runner who stopped and asked her what was going on.

The victim had been traumatized by the attack and could not sleep for a long time after the incident. Russo has 17 convictions for armed robberies.

He pleaded guilty to one count of rape and two counts of attempted murder. He was jailed for five years. Russo was diagnosed with a mild intellectual disability.

He said that he had been hearing voices in his head since childhood, but a psychiatrist did not believe he was psychotic.