Gang rape - witnesses come forward
Merindah Street, Baulkham Hills, where a woman was abducted and sexually assaulted. Photo: Rachel Olding
Several witnesses have come forward to provide police with information on a shocking gang rape attack on a student in north-west Sydney.
An 18-year-old woman was abducted by a carload of five men and assaulted after leaving a house party at 1am on Sunday, police said.
The woman, a year 12 student at a local high school, has told police she was driven to an unknown location where she was repeatedly raped and physically assaulted before she was dumped on a Castle Hill street. She made her way home and then phoned a relative for help.
The victim was so traumatised she was only able to recount scant details to police, describing the car as a green sedan and the man in the front passenger seat as around 25 years old, chubby, with a beard and wearing a red and white flannelette shirt at the time.
A public plea on Monday for anyone who saw the car lurking near the party on Saturday night has encouraged several witnesses to come forward, the commander of the Sex Crimes Squad, John Kerlatec, said on Tuesday.
Some who attended the small house party in Merindah Road have also provided information.
"We're continuing to interview witnesses that have come forward," Detective Superintendent Kerlatec said.
Gang rapes are very rare in Sydney and even more uncommon in the Hills district. The attack has prompted an outpouring of anger and shock online and several young women in the area said they were now too scared to walk around at night.
"This just doesn't happen in Baulko," said one Merindah Street resident, Emily, who has walked home alone on the street many times.
Another young female resident said: "It's really worrying that violent unprovoked crimes are getting more and more frequent - closer to our homes."
On Monday, Detective Superintendent Kerlatec said he didn't believe the gang was likely to re-offend and there were no signs yet that it was a pre-meditated attack.
The victim is being cared for by her family.
"We are continuing to work with the victim in ensuring that her needs are met," Detective Superintendent Kerlatec said.