Man bailed over alleged sex worker rapes

Georgie Moore
Theodoros Tsalkos is charged with raping and falsely imprisoning two teenage girls in May 1987

A brothel "sitter" allegedly raped two teenage sex workers in the 1980s after telling them he was a police officer.

Theodoros Tsalkos is charged with falsely imprisoning and raping the girls, aged 15 and 16, after picking them up from a street in Melbourne's St Kilda in the dead of night in May 1987.

The man, who at the time worked as a brothel "sitter" in charge of security, is accused of driving the pair to an unlit laneway and pretending to be a police officer.

"Well girls, you've been busted for prostitution. I'm an undercover cop," he allegedly told them them.

"How would you like it if I blew your brains out?"

Tsalkos, then aged 25, is then accused of raping one girl, telling her he had AIDS and threatening to stab the other unless she complied with his demands.

He then allegedly drove the girls to an unused public toilet and continued assaulting them before dropping them back on the street.

The man, now 58, was on Friday charged with 22 offences including rape, aggravated rape, false imprisonment and making threats to kill, based on DNA evidence after the case was reopened.

One of his alleged victims died before charges were laid.

Tsalkos walked from Melbourne Magistrates Court on bail hours after being charged, despite police fears he risked compromising the case by contacting witnesses.

His lawyer, Bridget Coath, said the allegations were of the utmost seriousness but planned to challenge the DNA evidence.

Ms Coath also cited likely delays in the man's case because of measures taken by Victoria's courts to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Hearings are being pushed back, many in-person appearances cancelled and new jury trials suspended.

Magistrate John Bentley ordered Tsalkos to report to police three times a week and not to contact witnesses.

He is due back in court on June 12 for a committal mention.