A MAN dubbed the hot chocolate rapist was jailed today for nine years by a Melbourne judge who said his crimes were “offensive, repugnant and intelorable in any society”.
Judge Paul Lacava told Harry Barkas, 48, that his three victims, who were doped and raped while unconscious or semi-conscious, were left devastated by his crimes. In a victim impact statement, one of the women said she felt “violated, betrayed and sometimes dead”. Barkas, of South Yarra, could be freed in just over six years because of time served but it is believed he left many more victims in his wake.
Charges over 24 of the hot chocolate rapes of the early 1990s originally laid against Barkas fell over when the case reached court in 2008. In a plea bargain, he pleaded to just three rapes, committed in 1991, between 2002 and 2003, and between 2004 and 2005. One of the victims said she was friends with Barkas but was never sexually attracted to him. One night they went back to his parents’ home where they had a drink. She next remembered waking up half-naked, feeling drowsy and with Barkas on top of her, raping her.
Judge Lacava said that all three victims were known to Barkas but they had hazy or little recollections of what occurred because they were drugged, probably with Rohypnol. Barkas was best mates with one of Australia’s worst rapists – John Xydias – who filmed himself raping 11 drugged women. The pair shared more than an enduring friendship – they trawled nightclubs together for prey, introduced victims to each other and perfected identical routines, drugging women’s drinks before raping them.
Xydias was jailed last year for 28 years with a minimum of 20 for his crimes. Judge Lacava told Barkas that despite his guilty pleas he was still in denial and refused to accept responsibility for his offending. When police raided Barkas’s home they found a variety of prescription drugs, including the “date rape” drug Rohypnol. In his County Court sentence, the judge said the fact that the women were violated when they were drugged made the offending very serious and was an aggravating factor.
He ordered that Barkas be deemed a serious sexual offender and be placed on a sex offenders’ register. The judge set a maximum term of 13-and-a-half years. Barkas and Xydias, both from respectable families hailing from the same part of Greece, were so close they called each other “cousin”.