October 1, 2022

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A contact tracer posed as a health department official to trick his way into a Melbourne woman’s bedroom and threatened to have her deported unless she performed sexual acts on him.

Abdulfatah Awow got the woman’s personal details while working for a health department sub-contractor in a call-centre responsible for contact tracing and vaccine appointments.

His victim, a 31-year-old woman, was isolating in July 2021 after returning from a trip to Sydney on a red zone permit.

Abdulfatah Awow has been jailed after trying to coerce a Melbourne woman into sexual acts while posing as a health officer. (9News)

She was living in a Burwood share house and isolating in her bedroom.

Awow called her as part of his job during a shift at the call centre, to check she was coping and complying with home-isolation requirements.

But for some inexplicable reason he took a photo of her personal contact details and saved them for after work, County Court Judge Angela Ellis said sentencing him to prison today.

When Awow got home from work he called the woman. He claimed to be a Department of Health inspector and said her quarantine was illegal because she wasn’t isolating at home.

He told her he had her name, phone number, address and visa status, and that he would need to do a home visit.

At 9.20pm he arrived at her home and she let him inside. He showed her the photo of her personal details, and took notes and photos as he toured her home and bedroom.

She could get into a lot of trouble if the health department found out how she was isolating, but if she made him happy he would protect her and she would not be deported to Taiwan, Awow told her.

He asked her to perform sexual acts on him and she refused.

Awow told her other girls had complied.

He left the home after the woman’s boyfriend called her and a housemate came out of their bedroom.

Awow persisted, calling the woman five times after he left.

Judge Ellis described his actions as a significant breach of trust which justified a three-and-a-half year prison sentence.

She said she was concerned that while he pleaded guilty to charges including aggravated burglary and attempting to procure sexual acts by threat, he had attempted to justify his actions when speaking to a psychologist.

He claimed he was unaware how much power or authority he had in his role, and that he had only gone to the woman’s house to explain that she was in breach of quarantine orders.

The woman went to a hotel after the incident and has since relocated interstate out of concern Awow had her personal details.

Awow has already spent a year in custody and must serve another before becoming eligible for parole.

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