Paloma Brierley Newton, 24, is "pretty happy" Sydney man Zane Alchin has finally pleaded guilty to threatening on Facebook to rape her.
In October the 25-year-old was charged after he posted 55 derogatory comments in two hours, many directed at Brierley Newtown, including:
“I’d rape you if you were better looking”, “You know the best thing about a feminist they don’t get any action so when you rape them it feels 100 times tighter” and “You’ll be eating my cock till you puke”.
His backflip from not guilty to guilty was a "legal win", Brierley Newton told BuzzFeed News, but she doesn't believe Alchin is "remorseful".
Court documents revealed Alchin told police he was drunk at the time and did not know online trolling was a crime.
"That made me really pissed off because it just screamed Stanford rape case like 'I was just drunk and that is not the way I am'," Brierley Newton said.
"Every article about this stuff is about how much [the victim] has had to drink but how a man being drunk is some kind of defence."
Alcohol was not a valid reason for writing "55 abusive comments in a row", she said.
Alchin's father said his son had been harassed at Sydney's Downing Centre court on Monday, which also echoed the proceedings of the Stanford rape case, she said.
"It was pretty ironic," she said. "I just can't even."
The incident unfolded after a screenshot of a Tinder profile belonging to Brierley Newtown's friend Olivia Melville was uploaded to a stranger's profile without her knowledge or consent.
Melville and her friends then responded to a stream of derogatory comments.
The two women received a torrent of aggressive and unsolicited messages from strangers but Alchin's abuse was particularly relentless.
Brierley Newton threatened to report him to police.
He responded: “What law am I breaking? I’m not the one out of the fucking kitchen.”
Melville's friend Paloma Brierley Newton formed the organisation Sexual Violence Won't Be Silenced in response to the incident, to raise awareness of cyberbullying and slut-shaming on social media.
Brierley Newtown said she hoped the organisation would be invited to train law enforcement officials in dealing with online harassment.
"We need to get the legal system in line with the internet so the response isn't: 'I'm not sure that is a crime'," she said. "We all work on the internet, we all socialise on the internet, we do things for pleasure or work there and it is just a space it is no different from real life."
She said she believed Alchin was "sorry for getting caught" but pleaded guilty for "legal reasons" not because he genuinely felt remorseful.
"He tried to stare me down [in the court room]," she said.
Alchin will be sentenced on July 29.
Gina Rushton is a breaking news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.
Contact Gina Rushton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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