ABC NEWS – A COVID-19 contact tracer who posed as a health inspector and threatened to deport a Melbourne woman unless she performed sexual acts on him has been jailed, but could be free in less than year.
WARNING: This story contains details that may distress some audience members.
Abdulfatah Awow, 26, appeared in the County Court where he was sentenced to three years and six months behind bars over the offending in July last year, which ultimately caused his victim, who held a student visa, never to return to Victoria.
Awow has already served 376 days behind bars and with time served, can apply for parole in just over 11 months.
Judge Angela Ellis described Awow’s behaviour as “predatory” and “unsavoury”.
“You told her that if she made you happy, you would lie to protect her, so she would not be deported back to Taiwan,” the judge said.
“Your intention upon entry was to assault the victim by way of [procuring] a sexual act from her by fraudulent means.”
Perpetrator lied to gain access to victim’s bedroom
At the time of his offending, Awow was working at a call centre which was contracted by the Department of Health to perform contact tracing at the height of the pandemic.
Awow was on shift when he called his victim, who was isolating in a share house after visiting her sister in New South Wales.
At the time, New South Wales was declared a red zone by the Andrews government, which meant only people with an exception, an exemption or a workers’ permit could re-enter Victoria.
The County Court heard that after the phone call, which was made at 6:37pm, Awow took a picture of the woman’s personal details.
At 8:45pm, he called the woman from his personal mobile phone and pretended to be a health inspector.
“You told her that there had been a change in government policy as a result of the increase in cases in Victoria on that date,” Judge Ellis said.
“You told her that you would need to come and check her room.”
The court heard Awow then travelled to his victim’s address in Burwood and conned his way into her home … read more.