Australian pleads guilty to rape, murder of Arab-Israeli student

Australian pleads guilty to rape, murder of Arab-Israeli student

Australia rally march after Israeli student murder
This picture shows flowers during a vigil in memory of murdered Israeli student Aiia Maasarwe in Melbourne on Jan 18, 2019. (Photo: AFP / Allan LEE)

SYDNEY: A 20-year-old man pleaded guilty on Wednesday (Jun 12) to raping and killing a young Arab-Israeli student in Melbourne, one of a spate of attacks that sparked fears about women's safety in Australia's second biggest city.

The body of Aiia Maasarwe, 21, was found by passers-by near a tram stop on an early January morning, hours after she was attacked on her way home while she was speaking on the phone with her sister in Israel.

Codey Herrmann was arrested and charged by police with the attacks several days later.

READ: Man charged with murder of Israeli exchange student in Melbourne

He pleaded guilty to one charge of rape and one charge of murder in the Supreme Court of Victoria state. His sentencing hearing is due to take place in early October.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets calling for an end to violence against women after Maasarwe's killing.

READ: Australian rallies demand safe streets for women after Israeli student murder

There have been several violent attacks against women in Melbourne in recent years, fuelling concerns that authorities are not doing enough to improve safety in Australia's major cities.

Source: AFP/ga