Ruel Lizardo Baradas has been found guilty of raping a woman he interviewed for a job at Darwin’s Mantra Pandanas hotel last year
Ruel Lizardo Baradas has been found guilty of raping a woman he interviewed for a job at Darwin’s Mantra Pandanas hotel last year

Manager guilty of raping woman during job interview

A DUTY manager who forced himself on a woman during a job interview at a Darwin hotel after failing to convince her to have sex with him in exchange for employment has been found guilty of rape.

It took a Supreme Court jury less than two hours to unanimously convict Ruel Lizardo Baradas, 34, on two counts of rape stemming from the assault at the Mantra Pandanas on October 16 last year.

The court heard Baradas interviewed the woman - a Taiwanese national who arrived in Australia four days earlier and spoke limited English - for a housekeeping position and repeatedly asked her: "What can you do to convince me to hire you?".

Under cross-examination by Crown Prosecutor Stephen Geary, Baradas admitted to using his position to manipulate the woman into having sex with him but maintained he had her consent.

In his closing address on Thursday, Mr Geary described Baradas as "a very manipulative man" whose statements were "full of lies" and who had "absolutely no respect for this woman whatsoever".

"A man in a position of power tried his best to convince her to have sex with him, she hasn't come over and he has decided 'look, I can get away with this because of who she is and her vulnerability on so many levels," he said.

"He doesn't have the courage to say 'if you let me sleep with you I'll give you a job' … it's all about 'how can you convince me'."

In his final address to jurors, Baradas' lawyer Peter Maley said his client could not read the woman's mind and urged them to put aside their "personal view about what you think is right or wrong".

Mr Maley said the married father-of-two was "no gentleman" but "he believed she was consenting".

"It's a tough place out there and people, men mainly, but certainly some women with money or power, use their power for sex," he said.

"Politicians sleep with staffers, bosses sleep with secretaries, occasionally women sometimes use sex to elevate their social status or job prospects but it's not a crime.

"Can the prosecution honestly disprove that he thought she was up for it?"

The jury concluded the Crown had done so and Baradas was remanded in custody.

He will return to court for a sentencing hearing on Friday.