Vic man in court over hitch-hiker charges

·1-min read

A Victorian man accused of abducting and raping two Melbourne hitch-hikers more than 20 years ago has been remanded in custody.

Drouin man Garry Cook, 71, appeared in person at Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday after he was charged with 36 offences.

Police allege Cook sexually assaulted two female hitch-hikers after picking them up in Melbourne's outer eastern suburbs in September and December 1998.

The 71 year old was on Wednesday charged with rape, abduction of a child under 16, false imprisonment, making threats to kill, procuring sexual penetration of a child under 16, sexual penetration and indecent act with a child under 16, stalking and firearms offences.

In charge sheets released to AAP, police allege Cook raped a child between the ages of 10 and 16 at Belgrave South, east of Melbourne, on September 24, 1998.

He is also accused of unlawfully imprisoning a person and threatening them with a firearm on that same date.

Police also allege Cook raped a child between the ages of 10 and 16 at the Patch, in Melbourne's east, on December 1, 1998.

Cook's lawyer on Thursday told the court it was his first time in custody and he was experiencing flu-like symptoms although he had tested negative to COVID-19.

Cook did not apply for bail and was instead remanded in custody.

He is due to return to Melbourne Magistrates Court in November.

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