'Neglectful' police officer in court over child rapist's phone calls

'Neglectful' police officer in court over child rapist's phone calls
Notorious child rapist Anthony Sampieri left a Sydney woman fearing for her life when police failed to arrest him eight days before he sexually assaulted a seven-year-old girl.
Leading Senior Constable Andrew Michael Bruce, 32, has been charged with two counts of neglecting his duty for failing to properly investigate Sampieri in October and November 2018.
Bruce - who has been stood down from duty - had two charges withdrawn in the Downing Centre Local Court today, but still faces two counts of neglecting his duty.
Senior Constable Andrew Bruce was charged in April with failing to get convicted sex offender Anthony Sampieri off the streets before he allegedly raped a young girl in a Kogarah dance studio. (AAP)
The court heard that despite a woman complaining about receiving harassing and sexual phone calls from Sampieri, Bruce failed to arrest him when he was interviewed at his unit on November 7 in 2018.
Sampieri at the time was on parole for raping a 60-year-old woman in Wollongong in 2012.
Eight days after he was interviewed by police in early November 2018, Sampieri choked, sexually assaulted and filmed a young girl in the bathroom of a dance studio in Kogarah.
Sampieri has pleaded guilty to three counts of raping a child and seven other offences related to the attack.
Bruce, 32, is accused of failing to properly investigate Sampieri and inform community corrections after he and another officer visited Sampieri's home.
Footage from Bruce's body-worn camera played in court showed the brief interview he conducted before letting Sampieri off with a warning.
Anthony Sampieri was convicted of raping a young girl. (A Current Affair)
"He's not in any trouble or anything," Bruce said before starting the interview.
"Have you been making any phone calls to real estate agents lately?"
When Sampieri replied "I'm not sure", Bruce added: "She doesn't want to proceed legally with anything. She's obviously not impressed.
"I'm giving you a warning. Cut it out and there won't be any more issues."
Sampieri was let off despite numerous red flags on his file in a police database which would have alerted Bruce to the fact he was on parole for the 2012 rape.
Bruce looked up one file on Sampieri's record relating to harassing phone calls he made in 2012 but failed to open the ones relating to his jailing for sexual assault.
The woman who received the harassing phone calls also contradicted Bruce when she told the court she requested Sampieri be arrested if it was discovered he had a criminal history.
She first complained to police on October 26 in 2018 after receiving menacing phone calls which she described as "very creepy".
A woman gave evidence about Anthony Sampieri and the "creepy" phone call she received from him prior to the Kogarah dance studio attack. (Supplied)
"I've been harassed before, but not like this," she said.
She said she put her trust in the police to properly investigate the incident but was frustrated by Bruce's efforts and made to feel as if she was overreacting.
On November 12, Bruce again contacted her.
"I asked if he had a criminal history. (Bruce) said he had a minor history," she told the court.
Bruce then gave the woman Sampieri's name and when she did a simple Google search for him, she uncovered numerous news stories about his past crimes which she said left her a "mess".
"I had a feeling this guy was bad, I was shaking and crying," she said.
"I feared for my life."
Bruce's court matter continues.
© AAP 2019