Woman jailed for telling shameless sex assault lie
A YOUNG woman who put a Sydney dad in jail for a week after she accused him of indecent assault and stalking has been jailed for nine months.
Caitlyn Gray, 20, was today sentenced to a non-parole period of five months for claiming Kenan Basic followed her in his car, touched her breasts and vagina and asked her for sexual favours after he spent more than two hours fixing her damaged car at a western Sydney petrol station.
Wearing a white, knitted jumper, black jeans and a pair of black slides, Gray was silent as she was taken into custody by corrective service officers at Bankstown Local Court today.
Gray's mother sobbed in court as her daughter handed her jewellery and told her everything was going to be OK.
Gray's lawyers are in the process of lodging an appeal to get the 20-year-old out on bail where she could serve her sentence in the community under an intensive corrections order.
Mr Basic, 36, lost his job, was served with divorce papers from his wife and spent a week in Silverwater Jail in Sydney's west after he was accused of the horrific crime on November 22 last year.
Gray initially claimed the father-of-one lunged at her and grabbed her breast and vagina after she refused his advances as "payment" for helping with her car. She then claimed he stalked her through the streets of western Sydney before she called her boyfriend, who reported it to police.
Seven days later, Gray admitted to making the whole thing up.
In sentencing today, Magistrate Glenn Walsh lashed Gray for her ongoing lie and taking away Mr Basic's liberty.
"The offender had the opportunity to limit the damage from false allegations on numerous occasions," Magistrate Walsh said.
"She did not take the opportunity to limit damage."
Magistrate Walsh did not accept submissions from Gray's lawyers that her depression at the time of the offence was related to her "consistent lying".
"She wanted vengeance due to what she perceived of Basic's behaviour," he said.
"This was not an error in judgment…she achieved her end of having him incarcerated."
Magistrate Walsh acknowledged Gray's letter of apology to Mr Basic, that she was 19 at the time at the time of the offence and that she had been seeking psychological help before the offence.
"She is fearful as to the outcome of proceedings, which has caused her anxiety…I accept she is contrite and sorry," he said.
Despite that, Magistrate Walsh agreed with the prosecution's argument that "these types of matters strike at administration of justice".
If Gray's appeal fails, she will be released on parole in January after serving five months in prison.
Earlier this week in sentencing submissions, the prosecution said Gray's lie was "an offence that strikes at the heart of the judicial system".
"If not for CCTV footage and the follow-up investigation, Basic would've spent months in custody," the prosecutor said.
"There is no alternative other than a full-time custodial sentence."
Gray's defence lawyer Peter Kondich instead asked for the 20-year-old to be put on an intensive correction's order.
Mr Kondich told the court Gray had been in counselling at the time of the incident and was on medication for depression. He also brought up her mental state, reminding the court the then 19-year-old had been in a car crash minutes before Mr Basic assisted her and was not in a "normal frame of mind".
Mr Kondich also briefly touched on why Gray had made up the allegation, levelling another accusation at Mr Basic.
"The version of the accusation provided is because of a slight that was provided by Mr Basic by way of sexual innuendo," Mr Kondich told the court.
"She has taken offence to that and by that reason she has made the false and misleading statement to police."
'I HAVE NO REASON TO LIE': ACCUSED'S WEEK OF HELL
The made-up ordeal that Gray pleaded guilty to began when the then 19-year-old was involved in a minor collision in the western Sydney suburb of Bankstown in November.
Gray managed to drive her car to a BP service station just after 6pm on the night of November 22, where Mr Basic pulled up a short time later.
As she tried to fix her radiator, Mr Basic drove up next to her and offered to help the struggling teenager out.
According to court documents, Gray claimed after the car was fixed, Mr Basic offered to follow her in case the car broke down again but she refused. She then told police Mr Basic said she "owed" him a hug for the favour.
According to court documents, Gray then alleged Mr Basic requested oral sex or a hand job. Again she declined.
Mr Basic was accused of following her before the teenager's car overheated and she was forced to exit the vehicle and lift up the bonnet. This second breakdown, according to Gray, occurred on Milperra Rd in Liverpool.
When she refused his advances, Mr Basic walked up to her driver's side window and tapped on the glass, saying: "Come on, come on. Let's go. What have I done wrong?"
It was on Milperra Rd where Gray claimed she had been groped and where Mr Basic had tried to enter the car, court documents alleged.
As Mr Basic followed her through traffic, Gray called her boyfriend, "yelling", who used a second phone to call police.
Liverpool Police quickly found a distressed Gray and took her to the local police station.
She provided a statement, detailing what she claimed at the time was her ordeal, and signed it.
Mr Basic was arrested the next day, on November 23, and willingly told police he had helped the teenager fix her car before following her to ensure she didn't break down again.
Mr Basic was charged with two counts of acts of indecency, one count of incite person over the age of 16 to commit an act of indecency and one count of stalk and intimidate intending to cause fear or physical harm. He was arrested and taken to Silverwater Jail in Sydney's west.
Five days into Mr Basic's jail term, on November 28, police again met with Gray and re-enacted the ordeal for a video camera.
But when they tried to find CCTV footage of the section of Milperra Rd where Gray claimed she was groped, detectives were unable to find anything.
Immediately after police realised they had no CCTV to back up her claim, detectives called Gray and told her.
"Did the incident where the male grabbed your breast and vagina occur?" an investigator asked. "Yes, I have no reason to lie," Gray responded.
Police questioned her again on November 29 where they made it clear to her a man was languishing in jail because of her allegations.
"Are you lying?" the investigator pushed.
"Yes," Gray responded.
When asked why she lied, Gray said she "just wanted (Mr Basic) to go to jail".
"He shouldn't have said that to me. He was disgusting."
Court documents did not explain what had been said to Gray.
Gray said she "didn't want to get into trouble".
"I didn't know what to do," she added, admitting, "I would have eventually come clean because I would have had a guilty conscience."
Police then urgently worked into the late hours of November 29, calling senior police, lawyers and Parramatta court "informing them of Gray's lies", the statement of facts said.
An urgent bail application was scheduled for Mr Basic the next day, when he was released from custody after seven days behind bars.