Rapist tried to silence teenage victim, judge finds

A TASMANIAN man who raped his best friend's 15-year-old daughter when she was home alone sick with flu, before he "selfishly tried to keep her silent", has been jailed for at least two years.

The man, who can't be named for legal reasons, visited the girl's home while her parents were away celebrating their wedding anniversary in September 2017, Supreme Court judge Helen Wood said in a recently published sentence.

She fell asleep on the couch wearing only her dressing gown, but was woken by the man sexually assaulting her.

The girl screamed as she saw the man undoing his trousers, and kicked him off her, crying and asking what he was doing.

The 25-year-old took the girl by the wrist and she pushed him away before he began crying, saying he was sorry and that he thought she "wanted it" and "don't tell anyone".

The girl told him to leave repeatedly until he finally did.

"She was horrified by his criminal conduct," Justice Wood said.

The man contacted the girl via Facebook that afternoon, asking for forgiveness and describing himself as a monster.

"The messages that followed disclose a mixture of genuine remorse, self-pity and attempts to manipulate her to discourage her from telling anyone," Justice Wood said.

A few months later, when the girl "desperately" needed help and support, the rapist discouraged her from seeing a counsellor, even though she had cut herself and was having nightmares.

"He selfishly tried to keep her silent," Justice Wood said.

Finally, in May 2018, the "brave young woman" told her mother what had happened and the matter went to trial.

"The defendant took away her control and ownership of her body," the judge said.

"She became so depressed that she tried to take her life. Since that attempt, she has harmed herself."

The girl's parents feel "utterly betrayed", Justice Wood added.

She convicted the man of one count of rape and sentenced him to four years' jail, with a non-parole period of two years.