HE was the person she trusted to get her home safely. Instead, Jess Loiterton's taxi driver dragged her into the back of his cab and raped her.
But as cab driver Md Kowsar Ali, 22, was convicted of the appalling sex attack yesterday, Ms Loiterton said: "He thought he could get away with it. He definitely picked the wrong girl."
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph after waiving her right to anonymity, the courageous 19-year-old said she spoke for every sexual assault victim who could not speak up for themselves: "Don't keep it to yourself, it eats you inside. You know you haven't done anything wrong. I didn't do anything wrong. If it happened to me, it could happen to anybody." During Ali's trial, the jury was not told that Ms Loiterton is gay, and she was a virgin.
"But it doesn't matter whether I am gay or not - what happened wasn't right," she said. She believes Ali took advantage of her because: "I was drunk and I was an easy target".
Taxi stand: 'Fit all cabs with tamper-proof cameras'
Ms Loiterton went drinking with friends in Darlinghurst last November, but when she became drunk she decided to go home to Oyster Bay.
A friend put her into Ali's cab.
The District Court heard that Ali twice indecently assaulted her as she drifted in and out of sleep.
Then Ms Loiterton woke to find the cab stopped in a sidestreet in Beverly Park. Ali forced her into the back of the taxi and raped her as she screamed at him to stop. Sobbing hysterically, she called triple-0 as she escaped.
Played in court, the harrowing recording moved several people - including jurors - to tears.
It took the jury less than two hours to convict Ali of having sexual intercourse without Ms Loiterton's consent, rejecting his claim that she invited it.
Arrested within an hour of the attack, the accounting student from Bangladesh told police he made a mistake but his passenger did too - by making him interested in her.
In a document seized in January during a police search, Ali tried to paint the encounter in a romantic light, writing the girl squeezed his hand. "She was young and so was I," he wrote. "I could tell she felt good about it."
But Ms Loiterton said the idea that she would show any interest in Ali was "ridiculous".
Ms Loiterton said: "Every single day since November 4 it has been in my head and I want relief." She found that relief when Ali was convicted of her rape and two counts of indecent assault.
The law automatically protects the identities of sexual assault victims but Ms Loiterton made the brave decision to be named, saying: "There shouldn't be any reason I have to hide."
Judge Peter Berman, who will sentence Ali in November, agreed when lifting a suppression order.
"Why should a person in Ms Loiterton's position, entirely blameless, who has been preyed upon by a taxi driver, feel embarrassed about what happened to her?" he asked. "She is entitled to hold her head up high and identify herself as a blameless victim."
Click to view image: '228038-0625562100.jpg'
|Liveleak on Facebook|