'My rapist is still out there': Desperate cry for justice
SOMEWHERE in Victoria, an accused child rapist remains on the run, having escaped his day in court for 14 years.
Back in Queensland, Maryborough woman Jamie* is still haunted by the night that destroyed her innocence and almost took her life.
At 26, Jamie has not been able to find the closure she longs for because the man she says raped her when she was barely a teenager, has never been brought to justice.
He fled to Victoria after his committal hearing and his charges, two counts of indecent treatment of a child, were left hanging.
A warrant for his arrest remains in place should he return to Queensland.
The charges stem from events on Australia Day, 2005, when Jamie, then aged 13, asked her mum if she could stay with the night with a female family friend.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, owned a local business and the victim enjoyed going over, hanging out and playing on the cash register.
When the woman closed the business for the day, the drinking began.
Jamie wasn't used to the effects of alcohol but welcomed the chance to try something she wouldn't have been allowed to at home.
One drink turned to many.
As the night progressed, the woman invited her male neighbour over to her home.
Jamie said in their intoxicated state, the pair started to have sex in front of her and then tried to involve her as well.
She remembers agreeing to kiss the woman.
But when the woman's former partner called saying he was coming over with their child, Jamie was sent to the male neighbour's home.
As she walked over to his home, Jamie became increasingly aware of how drunk she was.
Once they arrived, she was plied with more alcohol.
"I didn't want it. I asked for water," she said.
She says the man asked if he could perform oral sex on her but she repeatedly said "no" before passing out.
When she woke up, she said she found the man on top her.
"That's when he was having intercourse with me," Jamie said.
Screaming and crying, she pushed him away.
She ran into the lounge room and found the man's brother and sister-in-law were there.
They called police after hearing the screams and seeing Jamie.
"I was in a little ball. They had to coax me out of the ball," she said.
"I just wanted to be in this little ball and stay there and cry."
At the police station, both the female friend and the male neighbour were interrogated.
Jamie underwent a rape kit and was interviewed by police.
The day after the alleged attack, Jamie attempted to end her own life.
She didn't return to school for more than four months.
Both the woman and the man were charged.
In 2006 the woman faced Hervey Bay District Court and pleaded guilty to indecent treatment of a child under 16.
She was sentenced to an intensive correction order and a conviction was recorded.
However, the man fled to Victoria after his committal hearing and his charges have never been tried in court.
Jamie says she wants police to extradite the man back to Queensland to face the charges so she can have some closure on the matter.
She doesn't want to wait for more time to pass before he is brought before the courts.
Shine Lawyers is helping Jamie fight for justice.
Lisa Flynn, Shine Lawyers' National Practice Manager, said the team was pushing to bring the man back to Queensland.
"I was surprised when our client advised that despite her efforts and the seriousness of the crime he hasn't been called into account," she said.
"He's living in a different state but he's still in society and potentially still a risk to others."
*Name has been changed to protect victim's identity.
If this story has raised any issues for you, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.