Teenagers bailed on rape charges

Four Melbourne youths have been granted bail after being charged with almost 70 counts of rape.

The charges relate to the alleged gang rape of a 15-year-old girl at a St Albans public toilet block earlier this month. The four were bailed from a Melbourne Childrens Court today after a magistrate ruled they were not an unacceptable risk of reoffending, failing to answer bail or endangering the safety or welfare of the public.

The Age revealed last week that the four youths, two aged 15 and two 16, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, each face 17 charges of rape and one of false imprisonment over the alleged attack on May 5.  Police allege three of the four youths followed the girl from a railway station through the streets of Sunshine and St Albans before snatching her dropped school bag and forcing her into the toilet block at the back of the St John’s Church in St Albans.

A detective told the court last week that the girl was forced into a cubicle. One boy told her to remove her clothing and raped her, he said.  The detective said the three co-accused kept watch.  The first youth left the toilet after allegedly raping the girl three times, the court heard.  After he left, the three co-accused entered one at a time and raped the girl at least twice each, the detective said.

After the fourth youth left the toilet, the first re-entered the cubicle and the initial order of the four entering and raping was repeated, the court was told last week.  Between each of the teenagers allegedly raping her, the girl repeatedly asked to have her bag returned and that she be able to go home, but they refused.

The magistrate said the prosecution case was a strong one. The youths were bailed to reappear at the same court in August.

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