After nearly 30 years, the law finally caught up with an Australian tow truck driver alleged to have sexually assaulted a dozen women and children.
Police arrested 51-year-old Gregory John Richardson after raiding three houses in Northwest Sydney this morning.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Man accused of sexually assaulting 12 women and children over a period of 30 years. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/9News?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#9News</a><a href="https://t.co/j7nG1LGnvL">https://t.co/j7nG1LGnvL</a></p>— Nine News Australia (@9NewsAUS) <a href="https://twitter.com/9NewsAUS/status/1027509918763569153?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 9, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Police say Richardson committed sexual assaults on women and children spanning three decades, between 1989 and 2007 and carrying out over 20 offenses. The victims’ ages range from 14 to 40.
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Police raided a home at Epping around 7 a.m. where Richardson was found. He was still wearing his pajamas when he was to the police car.
Two assaults against his victims may have occurred in Beecroft in 1989. Four other assaults were reported in Cheltenham between 1994 and 2004, while three allegedly took place in Hornsby in 2007. Three others also allegedly happened in the surrounding suburbs of Wahroonga, Epping and Macquarie Park between 2004 and 2007.
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As soon as the suspect was being led away in handcuffs, the police officers found it an opportune time to inform his alleged victims about his arrest. Detective Superintendent John Kerlate said: "It was mixed emotions, some of them very relieved, some were grateful of the progress and sadly some of them very emotional. Some of them have put this way behind them, the phone call today reignited some of those initial feelings, so it was an emotional time for them."
While the authorities have yet to fully establish why it took so long for them to finally arrest Richardson, they say it was a mix of witnesses accounts, evidence gathered at the crime scene and similarities between the crimes that led to the arrest today of the alleged serial rapist.
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DNA testing will soon prove crucial to the case.
Kerlate said: "It was like a jigsaw puzzle, without knowing what the end picture looked like.”