Epping rapes: Man accused of attacks to face court
The man accused of up to 14 rapes across Sydney dating back to 1989 will face court today on a series of sexual assault charges.
Gregory John Richardson was in his pyjamas when police arrested him at his Epping home in the city's north-west early yesterday morning.
His arrest came after an investigation by the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad into 12 attacks on women and childen over a span of 24 years.
Richardson, 51, will face Burwood Local Court today charged with five counts of committing an act of indecency with a person over 16 years and four counts of aggravated sexual assault and inflicting actual bodily harm.
He will also face three counts of sexual assault with a person under 16 years, two counts of aggravated sexual assault with a person of the same age, stalking and intimidation, and possession of a prohibited weapon without a permit.
Prosecutors will today allege Richardson committed 14 sexual offences between 1989 and 2013 involving female victims aged between 14 and 40.
Yesterday police said the attacks were carried out in Hornsby, Beecroft, Cheltenham, Wahroonga, Epping and Macquarie Park.
As Mr Richardson was led away in handcuffs, police phoned his alleged victims to deliver the news.
"It was mixed emotions, some of them very relieved, some were grateful of the progress and sadly some of them very emotional," said Detective Superintendent John Kerlate yesterday.
"Some of them have put this way behind them, the phone call reignited some of those initial feelings, so it was an emotional time for them."
Police say it was a mix of witnesses accounts, evidence gathered at the crime scenes, and similarities between the crimes that led to today's arrest.
DNA testing will now be crucial to proving their case.
"It was like a jigsaw puzzle, without knowing what the end picture looked like," said Detective Superintendent Kerlate.