News State Victoria News Russell St bombing duo linked to brutal cold case sex attacks

Russell St bombing duo linked to brutal cold case sex attacks

Police say it was DNA that led them to Craig Minogue, already in prison for the Russell Street bombing. Photo: ABC
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A man acquitted over the infamous 1986 Russell Street bombing has been charged over the abduction and gang rape of two women in Melbourne more than three decades ago.

Peter Michael Komiazyk, 61, faced the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday evening over 38 offences including abduction by force and aggravated rape.

The separate assaults occurred in South Yarra on November 22 in 1985 and the second allegedly at bomber Craig Minogue’s house in Nunawading on March 26, 1986.

One of the alleged victims was inside the Russell Street police complex when the bombing occurred, a court heard.

Angela Taylor was only 21 when the Russell Street bombing snatched her life away. Photo: AAP

Minogue, 56, who is in custody in Barwon Prison over the 1986 police complex bombing that killed 21-year-old Constable Angela Taylor and left 22 injured, is also believed to have been involved in the assaults, Detective Senior Const Tony Benham said.

Both men have been charged with 38 offences, including abduction by force and aggravated rape over the historic assaults. Minogue is due to face court in June.

“Police allege Komiazyk committed in connection with Craig Minogue and he is currently serving a sentence,” Det Sen Const Tony Benham told the court.

Another Russell Street bomber, Stan Taylor, was also said to be involved in dragging a woman off the street before she was raped for hours by multiple people in 1986, Set Sen Const Benham said.

The first victim was “blindfolded, bound, gagged and threatened with death”, he added.

On the eve of the Russell Street bombing, a second victim was abducted before being allegedly raped at Minogue’s residential property.

“(She) was forced into degrading acts and had her life threatened over hours by at least three (people) … and then was showered by them,” Set Sen Const Benham said.

“DNA swabs identifies Komiazyk, Minogue and Taylor.”

He added police had been notified of Komiazyk’s DNA match along with his two co-accused in 2017, and had been under investigation since.

Detective Inspector Steve Wilson, from the sexual crimes squad, said the investigation was ongoing.

“We still have one person outstanding and we would again encourage anybody to come forward with information as to who that third person may be,” he said.

“I’ve been working for over 30 years for this to occur,” Detective Inspector Wilson said, praising the victims — one of whom has since died — and the friends and families for maintaining their faith in the investigation for so long.

“It’s something quite significant for them and I’m quite sure that they would never be expecting us to be knocking on their door and informing them of what this outcome is.”

Komiazyk was acquitted over any involvement in the 1987 bombing but was jailed for 13 years for the attempted murder of two police he shot at during raids connected to the bombing.

Peter Komiazyk hides his face in the police car taking him to court. Photo: ABC

Prosecutor Senior Constable Joshua Wood said Komiazyk was “an unacceptable risk” to be given bail.

Defence lawyer Steven Pica said Komiazyk was arrested on Thursday outside his psychologist’s office, his car rammed and he was forced onto the ground.

Komiazyk, who cannot turn his head well, appeared in court with grazes across his right cheek and around his eye from the arrest.

Mr Pica said his client had depression, a double hip replacement, took sleeping tablets, anti-inflammtories and blood pressure medication.

Magistrate Barry Schultz said the nature of the offending would not allow him to grant bail, describing them as “some of the most serious examples of sexual offences the court had heard.”

“Groups of men subjecting women to indignities that they would never recover from,” he said.

“It is the sort of offending that requires a substantial sentence,”

Komiazyk has been remanded to appear in the same court on Friday.

-with AAP