Codey Herrmann, 21, was jailed Tuesday for a maximum of 36 years for the “savage attack” against Aiia Maasarwe while she was returning home from a night out.
Maasarwe, also 21, was talking to her sister in Israel when she was brutally attacked at 12:10 a.m. after getting off a tram in the suburb of Bundoora in January.
During the court hearing, prosecutors said Maasarwe had called her sister because she did not feel safe walking home at night. Her sister Ruba said she heard her sister scream in Arabic, “You piece of s—,” followed by the sound of something or someone being hit four times.
Maasarwe was studying at La Trobe University in Melbourne. (Instagram)
Herrmann was arrested two days later. He pleaded guilty in July to brutally beating Maasarwe over the head with a metal pole at least 13 times, raping her and setting her body and clothes on fire.
“Not only did you take her precious right to life but you deprived her family of a daughter and a sister,” Judge Elizabeth Hollingworth said during sentencing on Tuesday, according to news.com.au.
“Treating her body in this way showed utter contempt for her dignity," she added.
Herrmann was arrested just days after Maasarwe’s body was found. He pleaded guilty in June. (James Ross/AAP Image via AP)
Hollingworth said Massarwe had no opportunity to flee or defend herself from the attack.
“You quickly subjected her to a savage attack with a crude weapon until she was unconscious,” she said. “You dragged her off the footpath to a position of cover where you raped her … you struck her with the clear intention of killing her, not merely injuring her.”
She added: “Women should be free to walk the streets alone without the fear of being violently attacked by strangers.”
Herrmann will be eligible for parole in 30 years.
Massarwe's death — the second such murder in a six-month period in Melbourne — sparked a wave of anger about violence toward women in Australia.
Fox News' Stephen Sorace contributed to this report.