A rapist who committed his crimes in the grip of mental illness has avoided a prison sentence, but has received a stern warning that he will face a lengthy jail term if he offends again.
The man, aged in his 20s, was sentenced in the County Court on Friday to an 18-month community corrections order with conditions he undergo treatment for his mental illness and programs to address offending behaviour.
The offender was in a relationship with the victim and visited her at her central Victorian home from interstate.
During one visit he said he was going to stay, but the victim did not agree and ended the relationship.
The man forced the woman to have sex on a number of occasions, and pleaded guilty this year to two counts of rape in relation to two incidents.
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After the man was arrested, he told police that he was in a relationship with the victim, and that she had sexually assaulted him.
But while in custody on remand, he told other inmates he had raped his girlfriend.
As well as the two counts of rape, the man has also pleaded guilty to common assault and false imprisonment.
Judge Gaynor noted the man had bipolar affective disorder, which a psychiatrist characterised as being at the severe end of the spectrum.
The psychiatrist said the man had a history of sexual disinhibition when experiencing a manic episode, and his offending was linked to a relapse of his mental illness.
Judge Gaynor accepted this, but said the man had a responsibility to continue taking his medication and not use drugs.
At the time of the offending, the man had stopped taking his medication for his condition and was using ice.
"It's quite clear if you don't take your medication, you are dangerous to other people, and it's dangerous for you," Judge Gaynor said.
She said she wanted to make it clear that the impact of the man's offending on his victim would have been "horrendous".
"What you did was something that the court acknowledges would have had extremely serious effects upon your victim," she said.
Judge Gaynor warned the man that his mental illness would not be as important or relevant to his sentence if he offended in such a way again, and he would face years in prison.
"You're not going to get this opportunity again," she said.
Judge Gaynor noted the man was back living with his family and engaged in a "highly protective" mental health treatment regime.
The man will appear before Judge Gaynor again next February for monitoring.