The suburban Brisbane granny flat where three women were allegedly drugged and raped.
The suburban Brisbane granny flat where three women were allegedly drugged and raped.

Two-month ordeals: Rape accused’s granny flat of horrors

A QUEENSLAND man accused of drugging three women, then raping them at the granny flat he lived in behind his mother's home has been convicted of similar violent crimes against women before, a court has heard.

David Jae Hwa Lee, 32, a former Volkswagen car salesman from Fig Tree Pocket, unsuccessfully applied in the Supreme Court in Brisbane last week to be freed on bail before his trial.

Prosecutor Emily Duncan told Justice Frances Williams that Lee should remain in prison on remand because he was a danger to the public and a high risk of reoffending.

Ms Duncan told the court that Lee has a history of violence against women including a conviction in Korea where he told his girlfriend: "If you make me angry I can kill anyone - including your family" while threatening her with a steak knife.

Ms Duncan told the court that Lee made the threats to a woman he met on an internet chatting app.

The suburban Brisbane granny flat where three women were allegedly drugged and raped.
The suburban Brisbane granny flat where three women were allegedly drugged and raped.

Ms Duncan also detailed Lee's conviction in NSW in 2014 for assault occasioning actual bodily harm and stalking after he pushed a woman against the wall and strangled her, saying "Why do you want to go home early every time we meet? Do you think I cannot do this?"

Lee has been indicted on 76 charges relating to the drugging, raping and holding hostage three young women aged 22, 25 and 35, over two months in December 2017 and January 2018.

This is up from 52 charges prior to his indictment.

Ms Duncan submitted to the court that Lee "specifically targeted vulnerable females in Australia temporarily and who had a limited grasp of the English language".

Lee's lawyers have previously argued all ­sexual encounters occurred with consent.

Lee's defence solicitor Nick Crawford submitted that the evidence against Lee on the charge of holding the 25-year-old woman against her will in his granny flat was weak.

Mr Crawford argued during this time the 25 year old alleged victim left the granny flat, attended job interviews and had lunch with friends, stayed overnight at friends houses and went to the Australia Day fireworks at Southbank in Brisbane.

Ms Duncan told the court that the women told police that Lee instructed them to take "vitamin" pills.

DNA tests on the three women's hair showed the presence of the sleeping pill Alprazolam in their systems.

Lee's charges include 44 counts of supplying a dangerous drug to the women, two counts of choking, four counts of deprivation of liberty, three counts of common assault, three counts of threatening violence at night, six counts of rape, two counts of recordings in breach of privacy, four counts of sexual assault, one count of giving a stupefying drug, one count of assault, one count of distributing visual recordings and one count of possessing dangerous drugs, the court was told.

His case was listed for a two-week trial to start on Monday but this was delisted due to COVID-19 restrictions, the court was told.

No new trial date has been allocated, the court was told.

Ms Duncan told the court that the Crown was seeking a 10-year prison sentence "at the very very minimum" if Lee is convicted.

Lee has been in custody on remand for 559 days, which is about 18 months.

He has received threats and has been assaulted while in custody, the court heard.

He was briefly granted bail last year but it was revoked in May 2019 after police charged him with failing to report for bail, and possession of nine grams of ice crystals.

Those bail charges and drug possession charges are being dealt with on a summary basis and are yet to be finalised in Brisbane Magistrates Court, Mr Crawford told the court.

Last week Justice Williams again denied Lee's bid to be freed on bail stating that she did not consider that strict bail conditions would sufficiently reduce the risks of him either failing to appear in court, reoffending, or endangering the safety and welfare of the community.




Originally published as Two-month ordeals: Rape accused's granny flat of horrors