Man arrested in Abbotsford charged with multiple historical sexual offences against hitchhikers

JD
Updated July 14 2022 - 8:44am, first published July 13 2022 - 10:29pm
Abbotsford arrest over historical sex offences
Abbotsford arrest over historical sex offences

A man was arrested in Abbotsford on Wednesday and charged with 35 serious sexual offences dating back over 20 years.

The 71-year-old, from Drouin, was arrested just after 8am on Wednesday by detectives from the Sexual Crimes Squad investigating a series of alleged incidents involving sexual assault, abduction and stalking in the Dandenong Ranges area from the late 1980s.

He was interviewed in relation to two 1998 incidents in which the complainants were allegedly sexually assaulted after being picked up when they were hitch-hiking, on September 24 in Belgrave and December 1 in Clematis.

On Wednesday night he was charged with six counts of rape, two counts of abduction of a child under 16, two counts of false imprisonment, three counts of make threats to kill, two counts of procuring sexual penetration of a child under 16 and five counts of indecent act - child under 16, as well as with stalking and firearms offences.

He will face Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

Police said detectives were continuing their investigations and looking at possible links with a number of alleged incidents involving sexual assault, abduction and stalking in the Dandenong Ranges between 1996 and 2000.

They are keen to speak to anyone who hitch-hiked in the Dandenong Ranges area between 1996 and 2000.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

JD

Jenny Denton

Journalist

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