Cops who failed to charge rapist under investigation
The police officer who failed to arrest convicted rapist Anthony Sampieri three weeks before he allegedly sexually assaulted a seven-year-old girl is now under criminal investigation, The Daily Telegraph can reveal.
The senior constable from Kogarah could be charged with criminal neglect of duty.
His crime manager, a detective inspector, has been moved and a sergeant is also under internal investigation as the police force throws the book at them.
An angry police commissioner Mick Fuller has said that Sampieri, 54, would have been behind bars had the constable charged him in late October with making an obscene phone call which would have breached his parole.
The rare offence of criminal neglect of duty under the Police Act does not carry a jail sentence.
The maximum penalty is a $2200 fine but it would mean the end of the officer's career.
When the constable looked up Sampieri's name in the police computer, it was red-flagged because he was on parole having been released, five years into a seven-year sentence for raping a 60-year-old woman in 2012.
"This guy (Sampieri) should never have been let out of the police station and the fact that he is facing a criminal charge shows how seriously the police force is taking it," a source said.
Sampieri is due to face court again next month on 11 charges including choking the schoolgirl and having sexual intercourse with her in the toilets of a Kogarah dance school on November 15.
It was October 26 when a local businesswoman made a complaint about the obscene phone call and Sampieri was questioned by the constable.
It is understood that the officer is "mortified" and is receiving counselling and legal backing from the Police Association.
In other moves yesterday, police defended their handling of the 2012 investigation after criticism they should have arrested him over the phone calls before he raped the woman.
A separate police internal inquiry found the calls were reported to six different officers in Wollongong and Lake Illawarra and no connection was made between the calls.
The officers had to wait up to 12 days for call records before the calls could be traced to Sampieri's address, according to the internal police report.