Bulacan-based Australian national gets life for rape

By Benjamin Pulta

April 5, 2024, 1:46 pm

<p>Department of Justice, Manila <em>(PNA file photo by Yancy Lim)</em></p>

Department of Justice, Manila (PNA file photo by Yancy Lim)

MANILA – The Department of Justice on Friday said an Australian national was sentenced to reclusion perpetua by a Bulacan court for the crime rape.

In a 24-page judgment, the Regional Trial Court Branch 78 of the City of Malolos found Ronald Ian Cole guilty beyond reasonable doubt and ordered him to pay his victim PHP225,000 in damages, in addition to the jail sentence.

Cole (alias Ric), 75, who has lived in the Philippines since 2011 under a special resident retirement visa, was accused for repeated sexual abuse.

The rape started when the victim, who resided in the house owned by Cole in the City of San Jose del Monte, was offered medicine by the Australian when she was ill sometime in January 2013.

After taking the pill, she felt numb and weak and Cole proceeded to rape her.

The abuse was repeated more than 10 times, at least three times a week.

Cole denied all accusations, branding them fabrications and delusions due to drug use.

“Rape is a crime that is always committed in isolation or in secret, usually leaving only the victim to testify about the commission of the crime. As such, the accused may be convicted of rape on the basis of the victim’s sole testimony provided such testimony is logical, credible, consistent and convincing,” the court said in its ruling.

“Complainant sufficiently established the fact of rape and identified the accused as the one who had carnal knowledge with her,” it added.

“Furthermore, against the straightforward and categorical testimony of the complainant, accused only offered bare denial. Accused was not able to establish any ill motive that could have compelled complainant to falsely accuse him of rape.”

Cole is also facing charges of qualified trafficking in persons involving minors pending before another Family Court.

“Let’s demand accountability for this, more so, from a foreign national who fearlessly defied the very laws of this country,” Remulla said. “May the victory of this case serve as a deterrent to those who continuously oppress the weak and vulnerable, especially women, for their self-interest.” (PNA)