End of the road for sadistic rapist who evaded law for years
He brutally and sadistically raped a woman in her own home, leaving her emotionally and physically scarred, then evaded justice for 15 years.
On Tuesday, Anthony William O'Connor looked on in shock as the District Court sentenced him to 16 years' jail for his abhorrent crimes.
The sentence is one of the longest ever imposed by an SA court for a single course of sexual offending against one victim.
In sentencing, Judge Paul Muscat said nothing could mitigate O'Connor's "abhorrent and totally reprehensible" actions, to which he was finally linked only after a cold case DNA match.
"That a human being could subject another to such sexual violence, in the safety of their own home, is both disturbing and frightening in the extreme," he said.
"It must be condemned by the courts, as it is by society."
O'Connor, 53, was found guilty at trial of three counts of rape and one count of aggravated serious criminal trespass.
In September 2003 he entered the Adelaide Hills home of a woman - whose identity is suppressed - and, over an extended period, forced her to perform multiple sexual acts.
O'Connor was armed with a knife at the time, which he used to slash the woman's hand - leaving her with permanent scarring.
He then returned to his home interstate and went undetected until May 2018, when he was arrested over an unrelated matter.
Once entered into the national law enforcement database, O'Connor's DNA matched with a sample recovered from the victim's dental retainer, and SA Police charged him with the offences.
At trial, O'Connor insisted the woman had consented to sex with him - a claim the jury rejected through its verdict.
On Tuesday, Judge Muscat said O'Connor had left his victim terrified for more than a decade.
"Until you were apprehended, she had to live in constant fear that her attacker was at large, causing her to experience feelings of panic," he said.
"The scar on her hand from where the blade of your knife severed her tendons is a constant physical reminder of the horrific ordeal she endured that night."
He said O'Connor's continuing claims of innocence rendered his prospects for rehabilitation dubious.
"The security and safety of women in their own homes, and their protection from offenders intent on committing extreme sexual violence against them, demands a sentence that publicly denounces such abhorrent and totally reprehensible behaviour," he said.
O'Connor will not be eligible for parole until May 2029, when he will be 64 years old.
*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.