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Drouin panel drummer charged with raping teenage girls at gunpoint Menzies Ck

A billboard beater accused of building a dedicated rape vehicle to prey on vulnerable teens is back on the streets after his family posted $500,000 for his bail.

Garry Cook, 71, from Drouin, is accused of committing rape in 1998 while residing in Menzies Creek, a small town 40km east of Melbourne’s central business district.

In chilling evidence provided to the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Monday, police alleged that Cook was in his 40s when he caused a wave of terror in the Dandenong mountain ranges.

An image of a rape cart dedicated to police believe Cook assaulted a victim

The married father of eight faces dozens of charges, including six counts of rape, abduction of a child under 16, forcible confinement, death threats and sexual penetration of a child under 16.

The court heard that Cook was able to cover his tracks by using his sign-driving skills to build and hide vehicles.

Cook has run the ProCar Collision Repair Center in Abbotsford for more than three decades.

On September 24, 1998, detectives claim Cook picked up a 15-year-old hitchhiker at around 8.45pm on Belgrave-Gembrook Road, near Belgrave station.

Once inside, he pointed a silver handgun to her head and led her to a secluded area along a dirt road when he repeatedly raped her at gunpoint. a gun for 45 agonizing minutes.

When he was done, he threw the girl to the outskirts of Emerald and fled into the night.

While the terrified teenager was able to provide a detailed description of her attacker and his vehicle, including his license plate number, police were never able to locate the car.

Drouin panel drummer charged with raping teenage girls at gunpoint Menzies Ck

Police search the Dandenong Ranges for clues in 1998

Police say Cook struck again in December of that year.

This time his 15-year-old victim was targeted as she went to wait for a bus at 7.45am.

She was only 10 seconds from home when Cook allegedly offered to take her.

Again, Cook allegedly pulled a silver handgun and drove it down a dirt road off Kallista-Emerald Road in The Patch.

This time he was driving a moron-colored 4×4 wagon that, although clean, smelled of cigarette smoke.

The victim later described being forced at gunpoint into the back of the vehicle where her attacker had placed a mattress.

At the entrance, Cook is said to have erected curtains covering the side and rear windows.

He told her to cover her eyes before repeatedly raping her in the back of the train car and throwing her away.

Again, the teenager was able to provide a detailed description of her attacker and the vehicle, which was never found.

In opposing Cook’s bail, Senior Detective Constable Shaun O’Meara said Cook not only looked like photofit images provided by his alleged victims, but his DNA matched that taken from his victims. at the time.

“The defendant had access to a wide variety of vehicles and he had the ability to use customer vehicles at his discretion, he had the ability and know-how to modify vehicles, transfer license plates and had intimate knowledge of the crime scene,” he said. .

The detective claimed Cook’s two alleged victims believed they would never get out of his car alive.

“Both thought they were living the last minutes of their lives,” he said.

Drouin panel drummer charged with raping teenage girls at gunpoint Menzies Ck

Police are looking for clues in 1998. DNA was taken from Cook’s alleged victims, which they say matches his

The court heard that Cook had previous convictions for dishonesty cases dating back to the 1960s and 1970s and was more recently charged with a domestic violence offence.

Arguing for his release, Cook’s attorney, Emily Clark, said his client’s sister would post $500,000 bond to ensure he met all bail conditions.

Magistrate Kieran Gilligan agreed that Cook’s risk of reoffending while out on bail could be mitigated by bail.

He also said Cook intended to challenge DNA evidence, including samples taken from the alleged victims at the time and a sample taken from him during his interview with police.

Police last month issued a public appeal, calling on those who hitchhiked in Melbourne’s Dandenong Ranges in the late 1990s to share their experiences.

Cook will return to court on November 17.

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