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Woman Blasts Police Over Rape Inquiry

A woman who says she was raped and assaulted in Melbourne in December has slammed the police investigation as arrogant and dismissive.
The woman, 27, who wants to be known as Clare, was leaving the Loft nightclub in the city on December 11 last year when two youths offered her a lift to her car.
She was instead taken in a taxi, with six men, to the Melbourne suburb of Bentleigh where she was repeatedly raped.
"I kept trying to jump out (of the taxi) but they held me," Clare said.
"One of the boys put his hand over my mouth and then acted as though I was his girlfriend . . . he said to the taxi driver, 'Don't worry, mate. She's with us'."
Clare, a psychiatric nurse, reported the assault to police the next day, allowing them to collect DNA evidence.
Yesterday, she described their attitude as "dismissive, negative and judgmental" and said she had not heard from police for the past six weeks.
Clare said one of the alleged rapists called a friend while still assaulting her. When she suggested police trace the call, she was told it was too expensive.
Clare also gave police information about a man who she said could help identify the alleged rapists.
But she said police initially interviewed the wrong person, tipping off the other man, who later denied knowing the offenders.
A Victoria Police spokeswoman said the investigation was continuing and could take some time.
"They have now put into process a mobile phone tower search . . . and are making their way through interviewing people who were at the nightclub that night," the spokeswoman said.
She said police did not agree they had been dismissive.
Clare has since suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and said the assault had affected her relationship with her husband.
"It was just horrible. All the degrading things they did . . ." she said.
While Clare said police members at a specialised sexual crimes unit were supportive and caring, she described the investigating detectives as apparently uninterested in the crime.
"It seems like there is no point reporting any sexual crimes as they don't treat it as a real crime.
"I'm sure if I had been murdered they would have found these people," she said.

Herald Sun (30-4-2005)
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