16:05:2010 - 15:05 EEST




Greek-Australian sentenced
Σύνταξη/επιμέλεια από τον/την Θεόφιλος Δουμάνης   

A man once known as "the hot chocolate rapist" has been sentenced to a minimum of nine years' jail for raping three women whose drinks he had spiked.

Victorian County Court judge Paul Lacava sentenced 48-year-old Harry Barkas, of South Yarra, to 13 and a half years jail with a non-parole period of nine years.

Barkas pleaded guilty to drugging and raping three women over 14 years.

He had originally been committed to stand trial for 21 offences against seven victims, including allegations that he served spiked hot chocolate, but those charges were struck out in a plea deal.

Judge Lacava said the conduct of Barkas was “offensive, repugnant and intolerable in this society.”

The court heard that on each occasion, Barkas spiked the drink of a woman known to him with Rohypnol or a similar drug and then raped them.

“It was premeditated, deliberate and in my view despicable. No woman deserves to be treated as you treated your victims,” Judge Lacava said.

The court heard that Barkas’ closest friend from childhood remains jailed serial rapist John Xydias, who received a 28-year term for filming sexual assaults on 11 drugged women.

Judge Lacava said, “your offending is similar (to Xydias); each of you drugged your victims before raping them”.

But he added: “You are not to be sentenced for the sins of John Xydias.”

The court heard that the first complaint against Barkas was made to police in 1991 but at that time the victim did not proceed with the matter out of fear.

Judge Lacava said the fact that Barkas was not then deterred from raping two other women over the next 14 years marked his offending as “brazen”.

“You no doubt felt like you got away with that first offence”, he said.

Barkas has been in custody since his arrest in August 2007.

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