‘Something must be done’: why Skaf’s infamous gang rapist, 37, will soon be released for the first time since terrorizing women in Sydney as a teenager
- Mohammed Skaf is part of a gang of 14 youths responsible for seven gang rapes
- In 2001, Skaf, then 17, was found guilty and sentenced to nearly 23 years in prison
- Eligible for parole since 2018, but repeatedly denied as ‘not safe’ for the community
- Scheduled for release on January 1, 2024 and now seeking parole for the fourth time
- Concerns remain about his ‘reintegration’ into society, as he has not accepted the blame
Authorities are concerned about the infamous and unrepentant gang rapist Mohammed Skaf re-entering society as his release approaches.
Skaf is seeking parole for the fourth time after being sentenced to nearly 23 years in prison in 2001 for his part in a series of horrific assaults against six teenage girls in Sydney in 2000, led by his brother Bilal.
He was eligible for parole in 2018, but was repeatedly denied by the State Parole Authority on the advice of the Serious Offenders Review Council.
An artist’s impression of what Mohammed Skaf looked like when he appeared at his adjourned hearing on parole in February. Authorities are concerned about how the unrepentant rapist will reintegrate into society
Mohammed Skaf, Bilal’s younger brother, acted as bait to lure girls into situations where the gang – and he – preyed on them during the infamous Sydney gang rapes.
Skaf’s attorneys are aiming to reclassify the convicted rapist, who will be released on January 1, 2024, to a minimum security clearance, meaning he can be released for a day.
This would allow him to take a TAFE course, for example.
Skaf, now 37, appeared before the State Parole Authority via video link from Junee Correctional Center, looking unrecognizable of the 17-year-old boy who played a key role in the gang rapes that shocked Australia.
He was heavily built, with dark facial hair, a wrinkled face with dark circles around his eyes, NCA NewsWire reported.
He addressed the court only once – to indicate that he understood the proceedings.
The discussions centered on what to do with Skaf to prepare him for confrontation with the outside world – something that worries the authorities, as he never admitted his responsibility and continues to blame his victims.
GET RUN-RAMPAGE: A TIMELINE
August 10, 2000: Two teenagers (one 17 and the other 18) were offered drugs. They were taken by car to the gang waiting in Northcote Park in Greenacre.
They were forced to perform sexual acts on eight men.
August 12, 2000: Mohammed took a 16-year-old friend to his brother and friends. Bilal and another man raped the girl in front of 12 men.
August 30, 2000: A woman known only as Mrs. C was raped by Mohamed, who told her he would ‘fuck her Leb style’.
She was taken to a separate location and raped and assaulted by 14 men for six hours.
September 4, 2000: Two girls were attacked at a train station and taken to a house where they were attacked by three men over a five-hour period.
This meant that it could not be considered low risk.
The state’s parole said Skaf should not be released at the end of his sentence “ without the possibility of outside leave or a significant period of supervised parole. ”
“ The disturbing thing is that Skaf has been in custody for so long and it is clear that if one path is exhausted and cannot be reached, something clearly needs to be done, ” said Judge David Frearson.
‘You can’t just release someone into the community (without reintegration), it’s just too difficult.’
Last November, there were concerns about whether Skaf could “ ever make progress in the classification to enable participation in external leave from prison. ”
External leave programs are considered necessary to safely reintegrate long-term inmates into the community.
In February, Mr. Frearson was adamant that Skaf “remains a denier after all these years.”
‘He did it [sex offenders] program, he’s still a denier, ”Mr. Frearson told probation.
“What does it take for him to acknowledge any responsibility?”
Authorities hope Skaf will be released gradually under structured community surveillance so that he can integrate effectively into society after serving more than half of his life in prison.
Mohammed Skaf in a police photo taken during his arrest in October 2000
Junee Correctional Center, where convicted gang rapist Mohammed Skaf is incarcerated
But state lawyers asked for the parole offer to be rejected again, meaning he would have to apply again in November.
The parole hearing was postponed to August 27 to allow “a closer assessment of Skaf’s conduct in custody and a review of his prison classification.”
The leader of the Skaf gang Bilal Skaf was given a sentence of 55 years, which was later reduced.
He will be eligible for parole in 2033 when he turns 52.
Nine men from the Lebanese-Australian gang were sentenced to a total of 240 years in prison for the crimes.