Hunt For Perpetrators Of Brutal Gang Rape Of Year 12 Student
The cold case abduction and brutal gang rape of a young Victorian school girl has baffled detectives for more than three decades.
But investigators have never given up hope in bringing those responsible for the horrific crime to justice.
The victim, who was just 18 years old at the time, is unable to be identified, but police refer to her as Susan.
Susan, a year 12 student, was walking along Melbourne's Chapel Street just after 10pm on the night of November 22, 1985.
It was her second day at her new job selling flowers to restaurants. She was returning to her car to collect more flowers when she was approached and threatened by a man.
He then pulled her towards a vehicle on nearby Bray Street, where another man was waiting.
Police said Susan struggled and fought against her attackers but was unable to escape before she was thrown into the car, a white Holden Commodore.
The teenager was bound, gagged and blindfolded before being driven to an unknown location.
For the next few hours, police believe at least three men took turns repeatedly sexually assaulting her while she remained blindfolded.
She was later driven to Yarra Boulevard in nearby Richmond, where she was dumped at around 1am the following day.
Remarkably, the girl managed to make her way to a nearby property where the residents raised the alarm with police.
Now, more than 33 years later, police have renewed their plea for information for anyone who may have seen the teenager being abducted, after launching a review of the case in 2017.
An information caravan has been set up in Richmond and South Yarra on Tuesday and police are urging anyone with information to come forward.
The caravan will be in Yarra Boulevard, Richmond between 10am and 12pm, then on Bray Street, South Yarra between 1pm and 3pm.
On Sunday, police also announced a $350,000 reward for information leading to the apprehension and subsequent conviction of those responsible for the abduction and sexual assault.
It comes after the release of a video recreating the moment the victim was grabbed and thrown into the car in the hope it will jog the memory of any witnesses at the time, police said.
Warning: The following may be distressing to some viewers. Video: Victoria Police
“We know that from the victim’s statement, there was a man who made eye contact with her at the end of the street before getting to his vehicle and driving off," Detective Inspector Steve Wilson said on Sunday.
“From what we’ve been able to find, he has never spoken to police, however we believe he could have information that is crucial to this investigation."
Tragically, the victim died in an accident in 2008 and never saw her attackers brought to justice.
"We don't give up on people," Wilson said .
"It was 30 odd years ago, but we are not going to give up on you."
Susan's brother and a close friend also pleaded with the community on behalf of Susan.
"It really did have a long-lasting effect on the way she interacted with males in the community and relationships she had ever since then," her friend said.
Wilson said time could change a lot of things in people's lives and relationships.
"Someone out there could be living with the knowledge that they know something or saw something," he said.
“Now is the time to come forward and tell us.”
To speak to someone about sexual assault or for confidential counselling, call 1800Respect on 1800 737 732 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800. If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14
Featured Image: Victoria Police
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