Gang rapist Skaf could be paroled soon

·2-min read

Notorious Sydney gang rapist Mohammed Skaf, who has spent more than half his life in prison for his "horrendous" crimes, could be granted parole within weeks after several failed attempts.

Skaf, 38, first became eligible for release on parole in 2018.

State Parole Authority chair David Frearson told a parole hearing on Friday that Skaf's offences were "clearly horrendous".

But little time remained before his 23-year full-term custody sentence expired in January 2024.

"You need to be very very careful, you stay out of trouble and co-operate, if you're given parole, you must abide strictly by the conditions," Judge Frearson told Skaf on Friday.

"If you don't you have to come back."

"Of course ... thank you Your Honour," Skaf said.

Skaf has spent two decades in jail after he was convicted for a series of terrifying rapes in Sydney throughout 2000 involving another 14 men including his ringleader brother Bilal.

At 17-years-old Skaf and other members of his gang would lure teenage girls away from public places with the promise of smoking marijuana.

Some were then detained and repeatedly sexually assaulted over hours and in various locations.

The preferred pathway to safely integrate Skaf back into society via an external leave program "has been extinguished" during COVID-19 restrictions.

This would have enabled him to leave jail for work, education or other approved reasons, but would be supervised at all times and returned each night.

The Serious Offenders Review Council, Community Corrections and the State previously opposed his parole.

But on Friday all authorities agreed it was appropriate given the lack of other options.

Due to the nature of Skaf's crimes, one of his conditions will be mandatory electronic monitoring, among other stringent measures.

Skaf must complete a Real Understanding of Self-Help (RUSH) program before the judge said he would publish his decision in the coming weeks.

But his completion of this program was not very far away, the judge said.

Skaf told the hearing he had one more week until he finished the course.

The SPA has delayed its decision multiple times already as it considered what supervised community reintegration opportunities were available to such a case.

A significant problem was that Skaf continues to blame his victims and remained "a denier after all these years," Judge Frearson told a review hearing in February.

No convicted sex offender who had taken part in such disturbing crimes, denied their part in the offending and was considered an above-average risk to the community has been granted status for leave, Judge Frearson said.

SPA's final decision is reserved for a later date.

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