Sick serial rapist jailed for 38 years
A serial rapist who preyed on eight young women and subjected them to terrifying ordeals over six weeks across Sydney will spend at least 28 years behind bars.
The man, who can't be named for legal reasons, was today sentenced to 38 years in jail with a non-parole period of 28 years for multiple robbery and sexual assault offences against eight women.
Already in prison on other charges, the new sentence will mean that, at the earliest, he will be locked up until at least 2046.
The 28-year-old man was convicted in September of 13 counts of aggravated sexual assault and a string of other charges including multiple counts of detaining a person and armed robbery, in the NSW District Court at Sydney's Downing Centre.
The man sat in court with his head in his hands and at one point picked his nails during the lengthy sentencing.
His family members remained outside the court only coming inside to acknowledge him once his punishment had been handed down.
Several police officers came to hear his sentence, including one he was convicted of attacking.
Sentencing Judge Deborah Sweeney said the perpetrator had humiliated and degraded his victims, including several sex workers, with his "aggressive and paranoid behaviour".
"He recorded some of the sex acts to set up in his defence that it was consensual and took photos of (his victim's) ID to intimidate them against talking to police because he had their home address," Judge Sweeney said.
"The filming added humiliation to sexual violence that was heightened by the offender calling (one victim) 'good boy' throughout the assault.
"His behaviour was purposeful and was planned. He targeted escorts who were alone and who would be vulnerable because they were alone."
The judge was forced to adjourn a related hearing on February 15 after the offender allegedly "threw urine on two correctional officers" on his way to a scheduled court appearance.
During the 2018 trial, the court heard harrowing details about the attacker's reign of terror on Sydney women, news.com.au can exclusively report.
A TRAGIC SEQUENCE OF EVENTS
Two years earlier, in May 2016, a 22-year-old woman had not yet encountered her rapist. But he had already started a six week raping spree that would ultimately implicate many victims and set in motion a sequence of tragic events that led to her death.
On May 7 of that year, the man booked an appointment with a sex worker. By the end of that day he had claimed his first two victims in what marked the start of his criminal career as a serial rapist. He arrived to meet his first victim at the Park Regis Apartments in the city about 7.30am. She let him inside the room she was working from. Moments later, the man produced a butcher's knife, and robbed the escort of cash, sunglasses and her passport. The man told the court he had rummaged through the woman's bag and taken out her identification, including her driver's licence, to "put fear into her". He then raped her at knifepoint.
Prosecutor Stephanie Lind told the jury during the trial that the man had consumed the drug ice and then told the victim: "I could stab you, take everything and leave".
"He took his penis out of his pants and said to her 'suck my d**k' and put it in her mouth … she cried," Ms Lind said.
"When she gave evidence she said it was a hostage situation."
The woman saw an opportunity to escape when the man briefly turned away. She opened the front door and bolted down the fire stairs "before he could turn around and get me with the knife". She "furiously banged on doors" but no one came to help. CCTV footage from the Park Regis played in court showed the woman exiting the building onto the street at 10.39am. A few moments later, the woman approached the reception desk, where the court heard she told the workers she had been "robbed and raped" and that the offender had a knife. CCTV footage showed her standing in the foyer barefoot as a staff member called police and the offender appeared next to her. The court heard that he yelled to the woman "go fetch, you dog" as the footage showed him throwing a mobile phone down a hallway.
'I HAD TO FIGHT FOR MY LIFE'
Later that day, the man showed up at another block of apartments, in Parramatta.
He was there to see Taliah Wolf, a 28-year-old transgender woman, he met online.
The self-professed "Lebanese transgender beauty pageant queen" waived her rights to anonymity "to help other girls in a similar situation" in an exclusive interview with news.com.au about what she endured that night.
The court heard that moments after walking in the door, the man played a video on his phone to Ms Wolf, which contained footage of him engaged in sexual acts with a "blonde, white woman" who he "slapped around" then "kicked off the bed".
"She wasn't consenting and I said 'why do you do this to girls?' Ms Wolf told news.com.au.
"He said he 'loved seeing the fear in people when they can't do anything about it'.
"I knew something wasn't right and started feeling the fear myself and thinking 'what's he going to do to me?'
"I didn't even know if other girls had been killed. I kept thinking: 'is that blonde girl alive or dead? What did he do to her? Is he going to kill me because I'm trans?'"
Ms Wolf said he then started "ripping (her) clothes off and threw (her) on the bed" before "sucking on (her) neck".
"When you're in a situation where this huge guy is on your bed … He's on drugs. He's saying s**t … you know you can't go anywhere … you're like: 'OK I'm going to die'," she said.
Ms Wolf told the court that the man repeatedly called her a "slut" and other "degrading things" before he "beat" her then "spat" in her eye. In an emotional testimony, she told the jury that he had restrained her with his hands before brutally raping her.
"It's not easy having this thing inside you while in so much pain," she said.
"I was horrified because I'd never been in that situation before. I was shaking (and) scared.
"I had to fight for my life."
One week later, the man arranged to meet an escort in another Parramatta apartment. Once he was inside the woman's apartment, he pulled a knife, robbed her of cash and property, before leaving the scene. He committed the same offence on another woman, in her Parramatta home, on May 20, 2016.
'DON'T F***ING SCREAM'
A 22-year-old woman who was working on her second night for the escort agency when she first encountered the rapist in Parramatta on May 27, 2016.
Court documents exclusively obtained by news.com.au show the offender posed as a client before he arrived at the Fiori Apartments for an appointment with the woman, around 10.30pm. He buzzed the foyer intercom then knocked on her front door. She let him inside. Within moments he took a "large butcher style knife" from a kitchen drawer and ordered the victim to strip off and perform sex acts on him. Her immediate reaction upon seeing the man pointing the knife at her was to scream, she told police in February 2017.
"The man then yelled at me 'don't f***ing scream' (followed by) 'take your clothes off'," she said in her official statement.
"I was wearing shorts and a tank top at the time and then started to take my clothes off as I was thinking that if I don't, I will probably die.
"I was so scared."
According to the woman's police statement, the man then raped her, during which he asked: 'Do you like being raped?' He held a mobile phone in one hand and pressed 'record' on the camera's video setting. The woman started to cry. Unrelenting, the attacker used his other hand to keep a firm grip on the knife and continued the "rough" assault.
"The man was pointing the phone at me … then started to demand that I say things … he was saying to me: 'Say you are a slut'," she said.
The victim said she was "shocked and terrified" as the man raped her for another "three or four minutes".
"I remember thinking that 'I just don't want to die'," she told police.
The man then robbed the woman of her day's cash earnings and left.
Just three days after raping the 22-year-old woman, the attacker found another victim through an escort agency. The woman had been warned about the attacker from fellow sex workers who had described his distinct appearance and violent behaviours. She knew she was in trouble the moment she opened the door and recognised him in a Parramatta apartment on May 30, 2016. But there was no escaping him. The man soon wielded a knife and robbed the woman of her cash earnings. The court heard that the man then "had sexual intercourse with (the woman) without her consent, knowing that she was not consenting and in circumstances of aggravation, namely that immediately before the commission of the offence, he threatened to inflict actual bodily harm on her by means of an offensive weapon, namely a knife".
One of the woman's close friends told news.com.au she was "absolutely traumatised" by the incident and was visibly "jittery" at the mere mention of it.
"She's the sweetest person … We don't really talk about it anymore because she doesn't cope well with it," the friend said.
'YOU LITTLE DOG'
As Autumn wound up and winter descended on Sydney, the man continued his raping spree, targeting local women.
His seventh victim testified via audio visual link that she had arrived to meet a client at the Sydney Park Regis apartments on June 19, 2016 when she let him into a room and another man forced his way in behind them. The court heard that the intruder subjected the sex worker, who had only started escorting days earlier, to a harrowing ordeal over the next three hours.
CCTV footage played to the jury during the trial showed the woman, then age 22, walking into the foyer of the apartment complex and greeting her client at about 5.40am. A second man, the accused, can be seen wearing a white jumper and black cap, and following her through the lobby, then into a lift and out onto the 29th floor.
"I was closing (the apartment door) behind me and I felt some … resistance … that's when I looked and (the defendant) had forced it completely open, and made his way into the room," the woman said.
She told the court that the man produced a firearm and demanded her client repay a $30,000 debt owed to an associate by Sunday of that week.
The jury heard that the defendant soon "turned his attention" to the woman before sending her client to an ATM with her bank card to withdraw money from her account. The client allegedly followed his instructions and returned with $700 cash which he handed to the other man before leaving.
The woman said she was "absolutely petrified" when the intruder then told her to take off her clothes and "spin around".
A video filmed by the alleged attacker on his phone during the incident was played to the jury several times during the trial. It showed him, with his erect penis exposed, instructing the alleged victim to perform sex acts on him. Stunned members of the jury watched on as the graphic footage played in front of them.
"You like that?" the man says in the video.
"I'm just very nervous and scared," the woman replied.
The footage showed him then touching her naked body and instructing her to move in specific ways on the bed before he "threw the phone to the side" and allegedly raped the woman.
"I knew what was going to happen," she told the court.
"My survival instincts just kicked in and said it's going to happen whether you want it to or not."
The woman told the court that the man was "aggressive … unpredictable (and) dangerous" and she felt that for the sake of her own safety she had no choice but to comply with his requests. At one stage, he referred to her as "you little dog", the court heard.
"I tried to stop it. He was bigger and stronger than me and there wasn't much I could do," she said.
During the trial, the offender told the court that he had called the woman a "dog" but claimed it wasn't aggressive, saying it was just "the language of the street".
"I would have said 'you f***ing dog', yes. I was angry because she took (a pair of glasses). "A lot of people say I act aggressive, that's just how I am."
But ultimately it was this woman's report to police that prompted an avalanche of other victims raped by the same man to come forward and report the crimes to authorities.
The serial rapist was arrested in June 2016 and charged over the alleged sexual assault and robbery of a woman that month. But not before he robbed an eighth victim, a female escort, at gunpoint in Sydney on June 22, 2016. He was later charged with multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault, and a string of other charges including assault occasioning actual bodily harm and using a carriage service to threaten. The man was ultimately convicted of all offences and sentenced to 38 years, with a 28-year non parole period.
With Benedict Brook
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