A man’s methamphetamine addiction led him to violently rape and beat a Dutch tourist he had taken hostage during a six-week ordeal at a Melbourne hotel, a court has been told.
Alfio Granata, 47, has pleaded guilty to 14 charges, including multiple rapes, threats to kill, and intentionally causing serious injury.
The victim was left with 54 separate injuries after she was repeatedly beaten unconscious, violently raped and cut with a knife.
Granata’s lawyer argued the “copious amounts” of methamphetamine he took daily explained his extreme behavior.
However, the judge said there could have been a cocktail of reasons for his brutal behaviour including jealousy, anger, and sadomasochistic tendencies.
In a recorded victim impact statement, the woman said she could not believe she survived and could not grasp the injustice carried out against her.
She told Granata her scars remind her everyday of what a sick person he is.
Earlier this year Granata’s accomplice, 34-year-old Jennifer Mary Peaston, pleaded guilty to two counts of intentionally causing injury for her involvement in the ordeal.
But she avoided jail after the judge ruled that she had also been the victim of sustained abuse from Granata.
In sentencing Peaston, Judge Frank Gucciardo described the Dutch woman’s ordeal as “abhorrent and repulsive” and said she was subjected to “repeated and sustained psychological and sexual abuse”.
Granata will be sentenced at a later date.
Granata ‘claimed to be possessed by the devil’
In an earlier hearing, the court was told when the couple first met the tourist they smoked the drug ice and had consensual sex at Rydges Bell City hotel, where Peaston and Granata were living at the time.
Days later Granata became obsessed that the two women were having a secret liaison and started to beat and threaten them.
The victim said she thought she would be killed if she tried to leave the hotel and that Granata had also made threats against her family.
Police said the pair assaulted the woman with a range of items including a meat tenderiser, a rolling pin, a vacuum cleaner and a jet lighter.
Prosecutor Nanette Rogers said Granata claimed he was possessed by the devil and the spirit of his dead grandfather.
Dr Rogers told the court on one occasion Granata put the victim’s nail cuttings, hair and blood in an envelope as part of a supposed ritual to destroy her soul.
The 21-year-old victim had earlier told the court she suffered from depression and anxiety, and still had scars on her body from the attacks.
“I suffer flashbacks. At night I wake up bathed in my own sweat fighting against something that isn’t even there,” she said.
“I don’t feel safe alone, can’t use public transport… [I] can’t go out at night.
“I feel like something terrible will happen again, it just kills my enjoyment of life.”
A Dutch tourist on holiday in Australia was held hostage in a Melbourne hotel room for six weeks, tied up and repeatedly raped.
The 21-year-old backpacker suffered physical assaults, death threats, sexual abuse and mental trauma at the hands of 47-year-old Alfio Anthony Granata.
She was told that if she moved, spoke or complained she would be beaten, Victoria’s state court has heard.
During her ordeal, she was beaten with a meat tenderizer, cut with a knife, kicked in the head and forced to live and sleep undressed for days on end, according to the Herald Sun newspaper.
She was also burnt with a gas torch light and assaulted, ABC reported.
Granata warned the 21-year-old she would be killed if she tried to escape.
He told his victim her parents in the Netherlands would also be killed, telling her he had a network of mafia contacts around the world.
He claimed he had killed 248 people but had not been caught because he was “very clean and precise”.
Police attended Granata’s room at the Rydges Bell City hotel twice during the time she was held but the alarm was not raised.
On the first occasion the terrified victim told officers there had been a fight but that everything had calmed down.
When police attended the room in the smart hotel for a second time, Granata spoke to them in the corridor after she was ordered to stay inside.
On several occasions during the six weeks, Granata used a network of secret cameras to film his victim being allegedly forced to take part in sex acts.
She was finally rescued by paramedics after she managed to stab Granata while he was sleeping and then attempted to kill herself.
The court had earlier heard that the victim met her abuser at a party in St Kilda and, not realizing he was dangerous, willingly went with him and his then girlfriend Jennifer Peaston to the hotel in Preston.
Granata subsequently became obsessed with the idea that Peaston and the victim were having a secret affair and started to beat them both.
Peaston, 34, pleaded guilty earlier this year to two counts of intentionally causing injury because of her role in the victim’s ordeal.
She avoided jail because the judge ruled that she had also been a victim of Granata’s sustained abuse.
Granata was originally charged with more than 100 offences, including 62 counts of rape, but agreed to plead guilty to 14 charges including nine counts of rape, one of intentionally causing serious injury and two of making threats to kill, said the Herald Sun.
The woman said in a pre-recorded impact statement she could not believe she had survived and could not grasp the injustice carried out against her.
Peter Chadwick, counsel for Granata, blamed his client’s “copious” use of the drug methamphetamine (crystal meth) for his offending.
Granata will be sentenced at a later date.