Man pleads guilty to the rape and murder of Aiia Maasarwe

| 10.06,19. 01:25 PM |

Man pleads guilty to the rape and murder of Aiia Maasarwe

Aiia Maasarwe was attacked on the way home from a night out at a comedy club

A man has pleaded guilty to the rape and murder of international student Aiia Maasarwe, whose body was found near a Melbourne tram stop.

Codey Herrmann appeared via video link in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday over the 16 January attack, and when asked how he would plead to the charges of rape and murder, answered, "I plead guilty".

Appearing before Melbourne Magistrates Court via videolink, Herrmann wore a black and grey jumper and showed little expression.

The 21-year-old woman's body was discovered in the northern suburb of Bundoora, not far from where she alighted the route 86 tram on her way home after a night at a city comedy club.

She was assaulted and raped.

Ms Maasarwe, a Palestinian Arab of Israeli citizenship, had been in Melbourne only a short time and was speaking by phone to her overseas-based sister, Noor, when attacked.

"She was living a dream in Melbourne, a dream that ended up being worst (sic) than a nightmare," the sibling posted on Instagram a short time after the death.

Aspiring rapper Herrmann, who was homeless at the time of his arrest, was taken into custody two days after Ms Maasarwe was found dead.

Details of the assault were suppressed by the court, to prevent further distress to Ms Maasarwe's sisters, who are witnesses in the case.

Prosecutor Pat Bourke said he spoke to her sisters last night via Skype to tell them Herrmann intended to plead guilty.

Herrmann faces a Supreme Court directions hearing on Wednesday.



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