A man charged in relation to a series of violent threats directed against women online has had his court case held over so that expert witness statements can be presented to the court.
Zane Alchin, the 25-year-old at the heart of the increasingly intriguing case, was not present at Newtown Local Court today, where a police prosecutor and his lawyer foreshadowed a detailed legal tussle.
Alchin was charged after a Sydney woman was shamed on Facebook for having referenced a sexually explicit quote on her Tinder profile, a popular dating app. After friends of the woman saw the bullying post they intervened, causing some to receive violent and detailed threats of sexual assault.
At an initial court date Alchin’s lawyer indicated a likely plea of guilty to the charge of using a carriage service to menace, harass, or cause offence, which carries a maximum sentence of three years’ imprisonment. But at a second appearance late last year, a plea of not guilty was entered.
Over six months later, the case continues to slowly progress, with documents filed in court today confirming the prosecution intends to call four witnesses, and the defence three. Two expert witnesses will appear, though their qualifications were not outlined in court today.
The case will now go before Sydney’s Downing Centre on 15 March, with the full hearing expected to take up to two days.
The case has been seen as a test of both legal and police responses to the online harassment of women, an issue of increasing relevance spurred by the omnipresence of digital communication.
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