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Man who kidnapped girlfriend for sex loses appeal

An Australian court today rejected an appeal of a blond blue-eyed man who staged the naked kidnapping of his girlfriend in a desperate ploy to have sex with her and then fled to India disguised as an Indian. 

The Court of Appeal in Victoria rejected Julian Mathias Buchwald's appeal against his conviction and jail term, imposed in his absence after he jumped bail and fled to India impersonating himself as an Indian. The court said Buchwald made two confessions to police and his explanation of the bizarre series of events was "utterly implausible". Buchwald had dyed his hair black, darkened his pale skin and substituted his photograph on a genuine passport, according to media reports. 

Buchwald left Australia and was planning to travel to Germany where he had relatives. His route took him through India where authorities immediately saw through his absurd disguise and detained him, the report said, adding Buchwald was sent back to Singapore and extradited to Australia, the report said. Buchwald has been accused of staging the naked kidnapping of his girlfriend in a desperate bid to have sex with her. 

Appeal judge Justice Hartley Hansen said that in 2009 Buchwald, 25, and his then 17-year-old girlfriend had been a non-sexual relationship for two years but he became impatient when she said she wanted to complete her high school studies before they married. 

He was found guilty by a Victorian County Court jury in 2009 of kidnapping her and subjecting her to a terrifying naked ordeal for nearly a week in bushland in the Alpine National Park and of making a false report. He was sentenced to seven years and nine months' jail for the original offences with an additional six months to be served for skipping bail, to which he pleaded guilty. 

Buchwald lodged an appeal against his conviction and sentence in the Victorian Court of Appeal, but it was refused unanimously by justices Marcia Neave, Robert Redlich and Hartley Hansen. They found there had been no substantial miscarriage of justice and an overwhelming prosecution case, while the sentence was within range.

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