A man who allegedly held a woman hostage for three weeks in Sydney while he committed “depraved acts” was found hidden in a secret room.
A man who allegedly held a woman hostage for three weeks in Sydney while he committed “depraved acts” was found hidden in a secret room.

‘Depraved’ alleged rapist’s sinister hideout

Police have released images of the sinister hiding place where they found a man accused of committing "depraved acts" on a woman he held hostage in a Sydney home for three weeks.

The 37-year-old woman eventually escaped after being allegedly held against her will since mid-July.

Earlier this month, detectives launched an investigation after receiving reports a woman had been sexually abused on an ongoing basis, between July and August 2020, by a man known to her.

Officers went to a property in St Marys, in Sydney's west, to speak with a 43-year-old man the following day.

While there police say they searched the home seizing "several items of interest" including mobile phones.

Talking to reporters on Friday, Detective Inspector Jason Pietruszka said the woman told officers she knew the accused.

The hiding place of a man of a man who allegedly kidnapped and abused a woman in Sydney. Picture: NSW Police.
The hiding place of a man of a man who allegedly kidnapped and abused a woman in Sydney. Picture: NSW Police.

"The victim alleges that she was taken to an address where a male detained her against her will for a three-week period.

"That detention included physical violence, threats of violence, as well as fortification on the premises that prevented her from leaving."

She managed to break free of the property on August 14.

Police undertook several searches for the man before finding him at the house on Thursday. They allege that, during the search, the man was hiding in a concealed wall cavity behind a bookshelf at the home.

To the left is the hole in the wall and in the centre the bookcase that is said to have concealed the room. Picture: NSW Police.
To the left is the hole in the wall and in the centre the bookcase that is said to have concealed the room. Picture: NSW Police.

"The male was found in an area that can be described as within the confines of a wall that have been made into (an area) similar to a closet," said Det. Insp. Pietruszka.

"In that location was various items including USPs, a safe and number of weapons that we believe were used to facilitate these events.

Images from the scene show a green wall with a large hole in it. Next to it is what looks like a bookcase that has been swung to one side to reveal a room. Within the small, cluttered space is clothes and electrical equipment.

"The depraved acts the victim was subjected to are quite horrific," said Det. Insp. Pietruszka.

The 43-year-old man was arrested and taken to Penrith Police Station where he was charged with 13 offences, including having sexual intercourse without consent, aggravated sexual assault, detaining a person and stalking and intimidation.

He was refused bail and appeared at Penrith Local Court on Friday. Investigations continue.

A dog at the property was taken to a nearby veterinary hospital for treatment.

Originally published as 'Depraved': Alleged rapist's sinister hideout

Police said the man was hiding in a concealed wall cavity in Sydney’s west. Picture: NSW Police.
Police said the man was hiding in a concealed wall cavity in Sydney’s west. Picture: NSW Police.


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