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City Sex Attack On Schoolgirls

These two men, seen on surveillance footage leaving Club 4 Play, are among those wanted for questioning.
A PACK of men filmed a 15-year-old's rape during what police said was an ``absolutely disgusting'' sex attack on two schoolgirls in Geelong on Saturday.
Detective Acting Inspector Simon Clemence, from the Sexual Crimes Squad, said two local 15-year-old girls had been left traumatised by the five men, who were likely to strike again.
The rape victim has been in shock since the attack and remains in hospital with internal injuries.
Det Act Insp Clemence said the men had left central Geelong nightclub Club 4 Play just before midnight when they approached the girls, who were sitting on the Moorabool St footpath, outside the St George Bank, between Malop and Little Malop streets.
One of the men grabbed one girl by the arm and pulled her about 30m towards Malop St where he began kissing her against her will.
Meanwhile, two of the other men held the second girl down on the ground and one of them digitally raped her.
Det Act Insp Clemence said police believed the other two men watched and took photographs or video footage of the rape with a mobile phone.
"This was an extremely brazen attack on two defenceless young schoolgirls," Det Act Insp Clemence said.
"These five males have acted with a pack mentality. They have displayed an attitude towards women that is absolutely atrocious and with that pack mentality and that attitude it is highly likely that they would reoffend."
Police yesterday released footage of the men taken by security cameras inside the nightclub.
Det Act Insp Clemence said the city's security cameras had also been manned at the time and initially caught the men on film.
But he said the operator had turned the camera to focus on a drunk who was smashing windows at a nearby 7-Eleven at the same time that the attack was happening.
The girls were too afraid to scream but Det Act Insp Clemence said someone might have witnessed the attack, as there was a lot of traffic in the area at the time.
The girls were able to break free after a "couple of minutes" and run away.
They told police they saw the men continue to walk along Moorabool St and accost two more women who were described as aged in their late teens to early 20s.
Det Act Insp Clemence said it was believed the women were harassed but not physically assaulted by the men and asked that they contact police.
The girls told police the men smelt of alcohol and cigarettes and had asked if they were locals, leading police to suspect the attackers may have been from out of town.
Det Act Insp said the girls had been at home when they decided to take a walk on the warm night and were doing nothing wrong.
"They're just good schoolgirls that were sitting outside getting some fresh air and having a chat and watching the passing parade. That's all they were doing," he said.
Det Act Insp said using a mobile phone to film the attack showed the callous nature of the men and that police did not think the footage had been circulated.
"I think it's very important that they be found because of their attitude and their demeanour and their gang mentality," he said.
"If they displayed this attitude on this occasion there's nothing to stop them doing it again."
One of the men was described as about 180cm tall with an olive complexion and slicked back, dark hair. He was wearing a blue striped top with light-coloured jeans and light-coloured shoes.
The other man was described as having an olive complexion, spiky dark hair and wearing a dark-coloured long-sleeved top with a hood, dark jeans and lightly coloured shoes.
The men were said to be in their early 20s and possibly of Middle Eastern or Southern European descent.
During a press conference in Melbourne yesterday, Det Act Insp Clemence said he did not think Geelong had a particular problem with sexual assaults after a 22-year-old was brutally raped in the city centre in December last year.
"Statistics don't suggest that Geelong is any better or worse than any other area," he said.
He said Club 4 Play's owner had been "extremely helpful" and club owner Scott Mackay said he had given police every piece of evidence possible because he wanted to catch the men who he described as "scum of the earth".
"It's extremely disappointing that we didn't see it and weren't able to help _ it's a terrible feeling," he said.
Anyone with information has been asked to contact CrimeStoppers - 1800 333 000.

Geelong Advertiser (18-5-2007)
Mex Cooper

Sexual Assault In City

A 15-YEAR-OLD girl was sexually assaulted in the city centre on Saturday night.
The Sexual Crime Squad are investigating the assault that a Victoria Police media officer said happened at 11pm and was reported soon after.
The girl was on the corner of Moorabool St and Little Malop St mall when the attack occurred.
Police yesterday refused to given any further details until today when they plan to launch a public appeal for help.
Anyone with information can call CrimeStoppers.

Geelong Advertiser (14-5-2007)
Mex Cooper

Leaders Slam Cowardly "Predators"

COMMUNITY leaders have condemned a group of men who sexually assaulted two teenage girls in Geelong's CBD.
Police yesterday released images of two men wanted for questioning over the Saturday night attack, which was filmed by the attackers' friends on mobile phone cameras.
During the horrifying ordeal, one girl was forcibly kissed by one man, while her 15-year-old friend was held down by one man and digitally raped by another about 11.50pm.
It is believed that the group also harassed other women as they walked along Moorabool St.
Chief Inspector Wayne Carson of Geelong police described the attackers as animals.
"We're disgusted at this type of assault occurring in such a brazen fashion. It certainly demonstrates how some people can be awfully vulnerable to these types of attacks,"' Chief Insp Carson said.
"I've seen vision of the actions of these cowards prior to and after the assault and I'm as equally disgusted by their general behaviour in the street as I am with the assault. It was animal-like and predatory."
Geelong MP Ian Trezise said he was disgusted by the attacks.
"I live literally 200m from the central activities area and I've got 14-year-old and 16-year-old daughters and to know that this has occurred makes me angry and disgusts me," Mr Trezise said.
"It's appalling and it really does show the need for good security cameras in the city to make sure we pick these types of people up.''
Geelong Nightlife Association president Darren Holroyd said he was also appalled by the incident and suggested that more needed to be done to make our streets safer.
"I just find it amazing that something like that could happen in the doorway of a shop," Mr Holroyd said.
"This is why we're pushing for the ID scanners rather than a lock in because if we had the ID scanners we would know exactly who these guys are and where they live. That's why we'd like to push for funding and assistance to fix the problem, rather than bandaid the problem."
Deputy mayor John Mitchell said City Hall would continue to work with police to try and make the streets safer.
"Incidents like that shouldn't happen in our city. Anyone, whether they're 15 or 50, has the right to feel safe in our city and this sort of behaviour shouldn't be stood for," Cr Mitchell said.
"We know that isolated incidents will occur but that doesn't mean they should be accepted. We've done all we can to improve safety in the city and that includes the police, trying to install extra lighting and all the other things that we need to do."

Geelong Advertiser (18-5-2007)
Daniel Breen


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School Offers Support To Victims

A GEELONG school is this week coming to grips with news two of its young students were sexually assaulted at the weekend.
The other students have not been told formally of the shocking events and whether they find out will depend on how easily gossip spreads and whether the two victims, should they have the chance, choose to tell their friends.
But the girl's school, who the Geelong Advertiser will not identify, has pledged to give support to anyone who needs it.
It has already started with the families of the victims, offering counselling, social work assistance and whatever else is needed.
The secondary school's social worker said the school was informed about the weekend attack on Monday.
The school already had a full-time welfare team including a social worker and psychologist, which has been engaged to assist the families in any way they need.
"We offer our support around the school, modifying timetables, when work is due as well as making sure people are supported here at school," the social worker said.
"I do home visits after hours and there may be some times where I see a person every day for a few weeks.
"Sexual assault is about power, so it is important to make sure (the girls) have the power in making decisions for themselves."
The social worker said the school would work in conjunction with other agencies and welfare networks involved in the assaults.
But the school had no plans to tell the other students about the attack.
"We work with the young person and would encourage them not to make it general knowledge around the school," the social worker said.
"The reality is some people cope really well with this sort of thing and are really supportive, but some aren't.
"But if the girls have very close friends and are happy to share it with them, then that's up to them."

Geelong Advertiser (18-5-2007)
Rebecca Tucker

Mother's Advice To Rape Victims' Families, Just Be There For Them

SOME weeks are tougher than others for Julia and her daughter, Anna.
This week has been especially difficult.
The sleepless nights began Sunday when Anna heard news of the previous night's sexual assault in Geelong.
It happened not far from where she was brutally raped last December.
When Anna heard the latest news on the radio, she didn't know the details, but the words `sexual assault' and `Geelong' were enough to make her panic.
Her own rape is never far from her mind and when she thinks of anything remotely similar happening to someone else, the pain comes flooding back.
Yesterday, Anna's mother cried as she contemplated the thought another family _ two families _ were going through similar pain.
"I just feel these girls have been violated and if they suffer any percentage that (Anna) and the rest of us have, well I just don't know," Julia said, her voice fading.
"It's very, very sad, it just makes me feel numb."
She apologised when the tears came, as she contemplated the after-effects of a sexual assault on the victims, their families, friends and entire community.
"I didn't think hearing about this would make me cry, but it has," Julia said.
She said she wanted so much to offer the families some wisdom, some strength to make what must be a harrowing time easier for them, but she didn't know how.
"As much as I'd like to offer them support, all I can say is just be there to support their daughters through these events, that's the only thing you can do," Julia said.
She said some days were easier than others. But when it was tough, it felt like she was drowning.
When Anna was raped in the early hours of December 1, Geelong talked of little else for weeks.
Even now the thought of the rape sends a chill down the spine of the community.
An innocent 22-year-old woman walking down the street after a night out with friends ended up bloodied and unconscious, violated and changed forever.
It was public, it was brutal and it was here in Geelong.
Names have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.

Geelong Advertiser (18-5-2007)
Rebecca Tucker

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