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Man acquitted of Russell Street bombing charged with raping teenagers in 1980s

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A man acquitted of charges relating to Melbourne’s deadly Russell Street bombing has spent a night in custody after being accused of the abductions and rapes of two teenagers more than 30 years ago.

Peter Michael Komiazyk, 61, also known as Peter Reed, faced Melbourne magistrates court on Thursday night and was remanded to appear again on Friday. He has been charged with 38 counts of abduction by force and aggravated rape relating to two separate attacks on the 19- and 18-year-olds in the 1980s.

The convicted Russell Street bomber Craig Minogue, 56, who is serving his sentence in Victoria’s Barwon prison, has been charged with the same 38 offences.

Komiazyk was initially charged and convicted of the bombing alongside Minogue and another man but was later acquitted. He was later jailed for 13 years for the attempted murder of two police he shot at during raids connected to the bombing investigation.

The 27 March 1986 car explosion outside the Russell Street Victoria police complex caused the death of a 21-year-old constable, Angela Taylor, and injured 22 people.

The 19-year-old alleged rape victim was inside the complex making a statement to police when the bomb exploded, the court was told on Thursday night.

Police will allege both women were abducted off streets in Melbourne’s South Yarra and Nunawading and taken to locations and repeatedly raped for hours by multiple people.

The court was told one was taken to the then home of Minogue in Nunawading where the alleged assault happened on 26 March 1986 – the day before the bombing.

“[She] was forced into degrading acts and had her life threatened over hours by at least three [people] … and then was showered by them,” Detective Senior Constable Tony Benham told the court.

The other woman was snatched and assaulted in 1985.

Minogue, 56, is also alleged to have been involved in the assaults. Police allege that the other man convicted over the Russell Street bombing, Stanley Brian Taylor, who remains in jail, was also connected to one of the rapes.

Komiazyk’s lawyer Steven Pica made a bid for his release on Thursday night, after his client was earlier arrested outside his psychologist’s office.

Pica said his client had depression, a double hip replacement, took sleeping tablets, anti-inflammatories and blood pressure medication.

But the magistrate, Barry Schultz, said the nature of the offending would not allow him to grant bail. Minogue is due to face court on 14 June.

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