Australia Navy cadet filmed rape 'to be accepted'

Australia's special forces exercise during the Australian International Airshow in Melbourne March 2, 2011
Image caption Australia's defence forces have been hit by several scandals, prompting wide-ranging reviews

An Australian Navy cadet who filmed himself with a mobile phone raping a woman as she slept wanted to be accepted by his peers, a court heard.

Keith Calvert, 24, was found guilty last month of two counts of rape against a female colleague in 2009.

His lawyer told a pre-sentence hearing that bragging about sexual exploits and filming them were rife at the base.

The case comes ahead of the publication of the findings of a review into sexual abuse in the Australian military.

Calvert reportedly filmed himself giving the thumbs-up during the sexual assaults after a night of heavy drinking in Melbourne in 2009 with five other male defence colleagues.

The victim only learned that the incident had taken place after she was alerted several months later by others who had seen the explicit footage, the court heard.

Calvert's lawyer told the pre-sentence hearing that there was a "work hard, play hard" and heavy drinking culture at the HMAS Cerberus base south of Melbourne.

"There was a culture of reporting, of bragging, of sexual exploits, that extended to revealing one's exploits by way of mobile phone footage," David Sexton told the court on Monday.

"[Calvert] was desperate to fit into the navy lifestyle, and he embraced it wholeheartedly."

He will be sentenced on Friday.

Treatment of women

Meanwhile, a government-commissioned review is under way following a similar sex scandal at the Australian Defence Force Academy.

Investigations were launched after two cadets from the academy were accused of secretly filming a female trainee having sex and broadcasting it on the internet.

They have now been charged in connection with the incident, which raised questions about the treatment of women within the Australian defence establishment.

Due to an unexpectedly high volume of allegations of abuse, the deadline for the publication of the review's findings has been extended to 30 September - one month behind schedule.

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