Man appears in court over alleged rape of Perth teenager in suburban park

Fremantle Court has been told a man accused of raping a 16-year-old girl at an oval in a southern Perth suburb had arranged a meeting with the girl on messaging app Telegram.

The court heard Aaron Alexander Foley, 26, from Thornlie, had turned into police on Sunday morning after he allegedly sexually assaulted the girl at an oval in Atwell on Thursday evening.

He was charged with two counts of sexual penetration without consent and a count of attempted sexual penetration without consent, and fronted Fremantle Magistrates Court today.

The police prosecutor told the court Mr Foley did not know the girl but had communicated with her via the encrypted app Telegram after seeing an advertisement she had posted, and arranged to meet her for sex in return for payment.

Girl ‘frozen in fear’

The court was told the girl had caught a train to Aubin Grove on Thursday night and Mr Foley had picked her up from a location near a shopping centre.

He drove her to Harmony Oval where he showed her his money.

During the alleged sexual assault, the girl was scared and “frozen in fear”, the police prosecutor told the court.

He said Mr Foley had left her there alone, and drove away.

white Holden Commodore
Detectives released an image of this car in their hunt for the alleged offender. (Supplied: WA Police)

Police bail, saying that while Mr Foley didn’t have a criminal opposed record, there was a “risk to the community of further offending”, and he had sought to erase data from the Telegram app.

Mr Foley had behaved “erratically” after the incident and had left his home for an entire night after seeing his car on the news, the court heard.

Man ‘believed she was 18’

But Mr Foley’s lawyer said his client said he didn’t know the girl was 16, and deleted a conversation on Telegram not to hide the fact they’d met, but “just because he didn’t want a record” of it.

“Certainly, he was upset about what had happened,” he told the court.

“This is a one-off incident,” he said.

He said Mr Foley didn’t want to contact the 16-year-old.

“He believed she was 18,” Mr Press told the court.

He said it did not constitute “grooming behavior”, as Mr Foley had responded to an ad on Telegram, and it was difficult to see where “lack of consent comes in”.

Magistrate Adam Hills-Wright said the charges involved a young person, and were “without doubt” very serious.

He imposed a curfew on Mr Foley from 9pm until 6am, and ordered him to return to court November 22.

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