Announced May 2022
Victoria Police have announced a $500,000 reward in an appeal for public information to help solve a series of child sexual assaults dating back almost four decades.
Detectives from the Sexual Crime Squad’s Cold Case Unit believe four incidents that occurred in high-rise apartments in Melbourne’s inner north and east between 1982 and 1988 are linked.
On 24 October 1982, detectives have been told an unknown man attended high-rise flats on Elizabeth Street in Richmond.
The man approached a then 3-year-old girl, took her upstairs to a clothes drying room and sexually assaulted her.
Just over two months later, on 19 December of the same year, a man approached two girls, aged 3 and 5, at a different apartment building on the same street.
On this occasion the man attempted to sexually assault the girls and when one of them screamed, he threatened to throw her off a balcony.
A year later, on 3 December 1983, a man approached a 6-year-old girl and her brother at a building on Campbell Street in Collingwood.
The man spoke to the pair before taking the girl to a drying room on an upper level of the building and assaulting her.
On 5 January 1988, an unknown man approached a 5-year-old girl and her 7-year-old brother at high-rise flats on Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.
He offered them money and took the girl to each level of the building until finding an unlocked drying room on an upper floor, where he sexually assaulted her.
Although the incidents were reported to police shortly after they occurred and were subject to investigation at the time, the identity of the offender remains unknown.
Detectives are appealing for anyone with information, particularly those who lived in the high-rise apartments at the time and who may have witnessed anything suspicious, to come forward.
Police are uncertain whether there are other victims out there who never reported matters to police and would urge anyone to come forward.
A reward of up to $500,000 will be paid at the discretion of the Chief Commissioner of Police, for information leading to the apprehension and subsequent conviction of the person or persons responsible for these incidents.
The Director of Public Prosecutions will consider, according to established guidelines, the granting of indemnification from prosecution to any person who provides information as to the identity of the principal offender or offenders in this matter.
Reviewed 25 January 2023