News State Victoria News VicPol probing link between two cold-case abductions and rapes

VicPol probing link between two cold-case abductions and rapes

There have been three arrests as a result of the raids. Photo: AAP
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Two unsolved rapes of Melbourne teenagers in the 1980s have been linked to the same gang and police also fear there may have been more victims.

Police say a brutal attack on a then 19-year-old woman happened in Nunawading, east Melbourne, on the night of March 26, 1986.

The victim, has spoken under the alias ‘Debbie’ in a video released by police.

She describes walking to her boyfriend’s parents’ house when she was dragged off the street, thrown in a car, bound and gagged and taken to an unknown property where she was raped before being dumped under a parked car at Ringwood.

Thirty years on, Debbie says she still suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, lives in fear of her attackers finding her, and had her marriage and job prospects ruined as a result.

“I ran away from my home state, travelled interstate, changed my name and stayed away for year,” she said in the pre-recorded video released on Sunday.

Debbie reported the attack at the time.

Detective Inspector Steve Wilson from the Sexual Crimes Squad said that after a public appeal about a similar attack on an 18-year-old at South Yarra in November 1985, police received information that gave them reason to believe the two are linked.

Officers are now following leads in more than one other state to find the culprits.

“We still believe with the level of offending that’s occurred with this there’s every likelihood that there will be other victims out there and other people who know who these people are,” Insp. Wilson told reporters.

“If there is a victim out there we would encourage them to come forward.”

In the November 1985 attack, the schoolgirl was selling flowers to restaurants along Chapel Street when she suffered a similar attack to Debbie.

She was bound, gagged and blindfolded, driven to an unknown property, and raped for several hours while still blindfolded before being dumped.
The victim died in 2008.

Earlier in April police announced a $350,000 reward to help solve the 1985 attack and the cash is applied now to Debbie’s case too.