St George Dance Studio at Kogarah, where the alleged attack on the girl occurred.
St George Dance Studio at Kogarah, where the alleged attack on the girl occurred.

‘My brush with the accused Kogarah monster’

One of the women targeted by convicted rapist Anthony Sampieri six years ago said yesterday she was devastated he had been freed to allegedly ­attack a schoolgirl.

"We have a legal system that fails to protect women and children," Megan Rowlett said.

Ms Rowlett says she is devastated at the attack that allegedly happened to the seven-year-old girl.
Ms Rowlett says she is devastated at the attack that allegedly happened to the seven-year-old girl.

The 36-year-old has never forgotten that dark, raspy voice when she picked up the phone in her Wollongong office at 9.27am on October 8, 2012.

The man at first asked about volunteering for an event she had advertised but then his language became ­obscene.

"I remember how scary it was," she said.

The District Court later heard Sampieri's disgusting words in which he described how he wanted to perform a sick sexual act on her in ­absolutely vile terms.

Ms Rowlett didn't know she was one of at least seven women on a list he kept at home whom he had terrified during those two weeks with random phone calls.

However, she did not hesitate to alert the police.

"One of the women in the office was married to a police officer and she said that even if nothing eventuates from the report, at least we have recorded what happened," Ms Rowlett said.

"Even if it seems to be a prank, even if it seems insignificant, I'm pleased I made that call because it turned out to be significant to the case."

Two weeks later, Sampieri lured a 60-year-old second-hand furniture dealer to his Wollongong home and raped her.

Ms Rowlett was in Wollongong District Court when he was sentenced in July 2013 to a maximum of seven years' jail.

Deputy Commissioner Metropolitan Field Operations Jeff Loy talks to the media about the Kogarah incident on Wednesday.
Deputy Commissioner Metropolitan Field Operations Jeff Loy talks to the media about the Kogarah incident on Wednesday.

"I remember thinking, 'Oh God, he looks creepy'."

Chillingly, she then found out he had lived just 500m from her home.

Ms Rowlett said that Wollongong police had been "magnificent" and "proactive" and she blames the legal system for letting Sampieri out on parole a year ago.

She said she felt devastated when she heard about the ­alleged attack on the seven-year-old girl: "For him to be a position where he can (allegedly) reoffend, it's devastating."

Corrective Services Minister David Elliott has called for an "urgent" briefing on how Sampieri was granted parole.



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