Ali Majlat attacked the 21-year-old woman as she waited on a train platform, just months after being released from prison in his home country.
As soon as he was free, the 35-year-old headed to Britain where he committed the sickening attack – prompting a judge to call for procedures to alert customs officials to criminals entering the country under European regulations.
Majlat punched, kicked and dragged his terrified victim to the ground at Wakefield Kirkgate station, West Yorks.
She escaped but he caught her and raped her before robbing her of her mobile phone, purse and a bracelet in October last year.
Leeds Crown Court was told after his arrest Majlat told a psychiatrist he decided to rape the woman because he wanted to go to jail where he would be fed, housed and be taught English.
Doctors ruled Majlat is not mentally ill but the defendant had told the psychiatrist he had been assessed in a prison hospital in Romania when he was described as crazy.
Majlat raped the woman after travelling to Wakefield to visit his brother at the maximum security jail which also houses M25 serial rapist Antoni Imiela and child killer Robert Black.
He fled to London but was arrested days later after a nationwide British Transport Police appeal.
In September he was jailed for eight weeks by Horseferry Road magistrates in London for burglary.
The court heard how Majlat had served two prison sentences in Romania, one a street robbery, the other an attempted robbery.
Judge McCallum, who said he was considering a life sentence, asked the Crown Prosecution Service to investigate Majlat’s criminal history in Romania, particularly sexual offences, before he sentenced him.
He said: ‘It appears he was released from prison in Romania in June 2008 then immediately came across here and presumably enters on a passport which allows him to do so under EU regulations.’
Majlat, of no fixed abode, admitted rape and robbery. He will be sentenced in April.
Det Supt Dave Shipperlee, of British Transport Police, said: ‘This was a violent and sustained attack on a young woman who must have been absolutely terrified.
‘Police conducted an intensive investigation to catch the man responsible. I would like to reassure the public that incidents such as this are extremely rare on the railway network and also to thank everyone who came forward with information to help us in our investigation.’