Police Link Second Gang Rape To 1985 Cold Case
Police believe a brutal gang rape from the 1980s is related to a similar assault that took place nearly six months earlier.
A Melbourne woman has come forwarded detailing a gang rape from March 1986, which Victoria Police believe is related to the gang rape of an 18-year-old schoolgirl just six months earlier.
Police are concerned there could be more victims.
The second woman -- who cannot be identified but whom police refer to as Debbie -- contacted authorities after seeing a public appeal for witnesses to the 1985 gang rape.
She was 19 years old when she says four men abducted her from Nunawading, in Melbourne's east, blindfolded and gagged her, took her to a house in an unknown location, and raped her.
Debbie says she was raped by at least three men. After the assault, she was dumped underneath a parked car on Mariana Avenue in Ringwood East.
More than 30 years later, Debbie said the traumatic events of that night impact "everything" about her life.
She was diagnosed with PTSD following the assault, but is determined to make sure those responsible are punished.
"As much as this is hard for me now, because I am having to rethink some of the things that I really pushed down, I think in the end it is going to be a positive move," she said.
"The whole reason that I reported it in the first place was because it is wrong, and I wanted everyone to know that it is not acceptable."
Police now believe this assault is related to a similar incident in South Yarra in 1985.
A public appeal was launched two weeks ago into the historical sexual assault that took place on November 22, 1985.
An 18-year-old schoolgirl, who can not be named but is referred to by police as Susan, was working her second day at a job selling flowers to restaurants on Chapel Street.
At about 10pm, Susan was walking back to her car to get more flowers, when she was dragged by two men towards Bray Street and thrown into a white Commodore, where she was also blindfolded and gagged.
The girl was taken to an unknown property and sexually assaulted, before she was dumped in Richmond later that night.
Victoria Police released a re-creation of a woman being grabbed off the street in South Yarra was released earlier this month in the hope it would jog the memory of any witnesses.
A $350,000 reward was also announced for information leading to the apprehension and subsequent conviction of those responsible for the abduction and sexual assault.
The same reward will also be offered for information relating to the Nunawading incident.
Police will continue to look for more incidents that may be connected to these, and are keen to speak to anyone who was a victim of a similar attack but did not report it at the time.
Detective Inspector Steve Wilson from the Sexual Crimes Squad confirmed Debbie approached police after seeing the appeal for the 1985 sexual assault.
The second incident showed a clear "escalation" from the first, Wilson said.
"You've gone from a person being sexually assaulted to a person being threatened with murder and threatened with a knife," he said on Sunday.
"With the level of offending that has occurred with this there is every likelihood there will be other victims."
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