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A man who viciously attacked two backpackers on a remote Australian beach last year was sentenced to 22 years in prison on Wednesday. 

Roman Heinze, 61, was found guilty on six charges, including indecent assault, aggravated kidnapping and endangering life. He was also sentenced in a 2014 assault case involving another backpacker whom he had offered a ride, according to the BBC. He will be eligible for parole in 17 years.

In 2016, Heinze met the two women, both 24, on Gumtree, a classified advertising website, and agreed to drive them from Adelaide to Melbourne. They arrived at the beach in the CoorongNational Park and set up camp.

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Later that day, Heinze took one of the women, who was Brazilian, to another part of the beach and tied her wrists and ankles with a rope before sexually assaulting her. The other woman, who was German, woke up from her nap to her friend’s screams and ran over to help.

Heinze then took a hammer and started bashing the German woman’s head. She tried to flee, but Heinze got into his four-wheel drive and rammed her several times. She eventually jumped onto the roof of the car and hung onto the roof racks as Heinze tried to fling her off. 

The women manage to escape when a nearby fisherman heard screams, the BBC reported. 

South Australia Supreme Court Justice Trish Kelly dubbed Heinze “utterly depraved” on Wednesday as she handed him his prison sentence. She said Heinze committed the attacks “solely in pursuit of the gratification of your own perverted sexual fantasies and desires.”

“In committing these crimes you have undermined yet again the reputation of this country as a safe, friendly and attractive destination for young backpackers from all over the world,” Kelly added. 

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Heinze also breached a bond condition in relation to a 2014 assault. 

There have been a string of high-profile attacks on foreign tourists in Australia in recent years. In March, a British backpacker who officials say had been sexually assaulted and held captive for weeks in the Outback was rescued after police pulled over the car she was driving.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 



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