Brother sets up GoFundMe appeal to challenge Waroona footballer Courtney Lakay’s rape conviction

A gofundme account has raised $1700 of its $20,000 goal to appeal the conviction of a prominent Waroona footballer who was jailed for rape on Wednesday.

Courtney Lakay was found guilty of sexually penetrating without consent a young woman he met in a nightclub and was sentenced to three years and nine months jail, when he appeared in the Perth District Court on Wednesday.

The online fundraising appeal was created by Lakay’s brother Julian Lakay, who said he would use the money to appeal the verdict.

“The verdict given by the jury two weeks ago is still a shock. We have 20 days to prepare and lodge an appeal,” he wrote in a social media post.

By early Friday afternoon, there had been 18 donations since its creation on Wednesday.

Lakay (33) and the victim were out with two other friends at a nightclub in May 2015 where they kissed and danced, before travelling back to the victim’s friend’s Doubleview unit, according to the sentencing remarks of Judge Anthony Derrick.

The victim had planned to stay in the spare room and invited Lakay to sleep next to her so he did not have to sleep on the couch.

She said she kissed Lakay but there was no sexual touching and she fell to sleep fully clothed, lying on her right-hand side in a fetal position facing the wall. 

In the morning when the victim was asleep and still in the same position, Lakay sexually penetrated her without her consent.

The victim said she left the room in shock after the incident and did not say anything to Lakay.

Lakay texted the victim later in the week apologising for the incident.

The victim told the court the incident had an adverse affect on her emotional well-being and she now suffered feelings of anger and worthlessness and had trouble trusting people and sleeping.

Judge Derrick said Lakay claimed the penetration was consensual, because the victim had invited him to sleep in the room “which obviously indicated that she wanted to engage in sexual activity with you”.

Mr Dickson said he did not believe the victim consented to the unprotected intercourse at the time of penetration: “[The victim] had no opportunity to attempt to prevent you penetrating her.”

Judge Derrick took in to account Lakay’s prior good character when the sentence. 

He took into consideration Lakay’s efforts in fundraising, acting as a mentor for younger players and his contribution to the local community through the football club.

“It is clear from reading the references, Mr Lakay, that you are well respected by those who know you and that you have many good characteristics,” Judge Derrick said.

Judge Derrick said he imposed a harsh sentence to deter other young men in the community and to send a message that penetrating a sleeping woman is “completely unacceptable”. 

He also said Lackay’s text message to the victim apologising reflected a degree of remorse, but that was undone when he maintained a not guilty plea throughout trial. 

He said the maximum penalty for this offence was 14 years imprisonment.

Lackay would be eligible for parole after serving one year and 10 months of his sentence.