Teen charged over pack rape released on bail
A teen charged over a terrifying pack rape of two girls in Victoria has been released on bail, despite fears he could strike again.
The 16-year-old is charged with locking two girls in a car and raping one of them moments after his friend allegedly raped the other girl.
At the time he was awaiting sentence for other offending.
And he is currently also under investigation for another rape less than two weeks earlier.
The teen was refused bail in the Children's Court three times before this month being bailed by a Supreme Court judge despite officials warning he was unsuitable for bail.
A Youth Justice Bail Service Report found he was at risk of breaching bail because of:
- His previous noncompliance and lack of engagement with support services,
- The limited capacity of his family to monitor and report on his bail compliance,
- His disengagement from education and the lack of a structured day program available to reduce idle time,
- His limited insight into his alleged offending, and
-The serious nature of the matters before the court.
The youth is charged with raping the girl on April 3 this year after he, his friend, and their two alleged victims met for a "sesh" of consuming alcohol and illicit drugs.
It is alleged his co-accused gave the girls cannabis, Xanax and ecstasy while each of the teens drank alcohol together.
After trying to get away from the boys the girls ultimately got into a car with them.
Police allege the bailed teen drove past the complainant's residence and parked in a nearby street where the girls were attacked.
It is alleged the teen's friend told the girls "if you [both] don't give us what we want, we will bash you [both]".
Police opposed his release on bail arguing he was an unacceptable risk of endangering public safety and further offending.
But Justice Rita Zammit, who conceded the youth posed some ongoing risk, found that risk could be mitigated with appropriate bail conditions.
Among a raft of conditions he must abide by a daily curfew, not use drugs or alcohol, and participate in counselling and other support services as directed by Youth Justice.
He must also attend the Youth Justice Intensive Bail Program and has been banned from leaving Victoria.
Justice Zammit said the teen's youth, limited criminal history, and the fact he had already spent 234 days in custody were significant factors.
She said there was a realistic possibility he would not receive a custodial sentence significantly exceeding the time spent on remand.