BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — An Australian man who kidnapped, drugged and raped a German backpacker was sentenced to nine years in prison on Wednesday for an attack that has drawn comparisons to the grisly Australian horror film “Wolf Creek.”
Peter Van de Wetering, 48, had previously pleaded guilty to multiple charges including rape and kidnapping for the August 2013 attack of the 19-year-old woman two weeks after she arrived in Australia, a place she had long dreamed of visiting.
“This offending involves an entirely ruthless pursuit of a young and innocent woman for your sexual gratification,” Brisbane District Court Judge Terry Martin told Van de Wetering during the sentencing hearing.
Prosecutors said the man spent months planning the attack, seeking out a remote location to carry out the crime and buying a wig, fake beard and moustache to use as a disguise.
Van de Wetering picked the victim up at a bus stop in the rural town of Cottonvale after she responded to an ad seeking a nanny and farmhand. He then took her to a sheep shearing shed, where he bound her with cable ties, force-fed her chocolate laced with a sedative, threatened to kill her and sexually assaulted her. She eventually lost consciousness and awoke early the next morning on the side of a rural road.
The case has attracted a great deal of attention in Australia for its similarities to the film “Wolf Creek,” in which a sexually sadistic serial killer who drugs his victims hunts down a group of backpackers in the Outback.
Despite Van de Wetering’s guilty plea, the judge said he had shown no remorse for the assault, which left the woman with physical and emotional scars. Two years after the attack, she remains afraid of the dark, Martin said.