An Australian Rules footballer who was sponsored by an AFL boss to play in Australia terrorised women across Melbourne in night of depraved mayhem.
Kataha Siwee, 23, had come to Australia from his home in Papua New Guinea on a three month student visa, which allowed him to play local footy in the country Victorian town of Euroa.
He had dreams of playing AFL in the big league after being sponsored and housed by Scott Reid, who ran the league’s Papua New Guinea program for decades.
Kataha Siwee had dreams of becoming an AFL champion. Instead he came to Australia and tore apart the lives of innocent women whose only crime was walking down the street
Kataha Siwee (in black and white) had played footy for the PNG team and his local footy club
Kataha Siwee is pictured prowling the streets of Richmond in the dead of night
Mr Reid, who started AFL in Samoa before spending 20 years helping to grow the sport in Papua New Guinea, died just months after he learnt of Siwee’s attacks in 2019.
He had taken Siwee to police himself after seeing CCTV images of his young charge plastered across news broadcasts.
On Wednesday, Siwee, who has a wife in Papua New Guinea, pleaded guilty in the Victorian County Court to five charges of sexual assault and one of attempted sexual assault.
Siwee had admitted to a terrifying rampage across Abbottsford and Richmond, just outside of Melbourne’s CBD, on April 14 that year.
The then 21-year old had lurked in the dark in the early hours of the morning before emerging from behind and sexually assaulting his victims.
Just a week before the rampage, Siwee had laughed at his first victim after grabbing her from behind and sexually assaulting her just a stone’s throw from his own Richmond home.
It was about 1.20am when he pounced along Nicholson Street, Abbottsford on April 14.
In frightening similarities to the 2012 attack on Jill Meagher by rapist killer Adrian Bayley, Siwee’s victim had been on her phone when he grabbed her from behind.
He tried to sexually assaulted her before attacking another random woman just 25 minutes later.
His victim had asked Siwee for directions before she was set upon.
At 3.20am he struck again, this time against a woman who had the key inside the front door of her own home.
‘Hey baby,’ Siwee said as he violated his stunned victim.
Kataha Siwee has a wife back in PNG, where he will be deported back to upon his release from jail
Night Prowler: Kataha Siwee claimed he was too drunk to remember what he had done on the night of April 14, 2019. Nor could he remember assaulting another woman about a week earlier
A little over an hour-and-a-half later Siwee was back at it again, grabbing a woman on Church Street and sexually assaulting her.
His next victim was just down the road.
Police believe Siwee lay in wait before again attacking his young victim from behind.
She bravely fought him off, but Siwee was not done yet.
Just 20 minutes later he attacked yet another woman on nearby Grosvenor Street.
The court heard Siwee offered her money for sex before pushing her to the ground and forcing himself upon her.
It was only the brave actions of a Good Samaritan, who heard his victim’s screams, that saved her.
When arrested, Siwee claimed he had been drunk and claimed to have no recollection of any of the attacks, despite one of them happening on a separate day.
One of Siwee’s victims gave a powerful victim impact statement to the court via videolink.
‘I thought I was lucky,’ she said. ‘I thought it could have been so much worse.’
The woman said she now felt unsafe just getting about town on her bicycle and remained scared and angry.
Kataha Siwee had played footy with a team in Country Victoria before moving to Richmond and sexually random women
‘I still dream of being chased,’ she said. ‘I’ve never been more terrified.’
Siwee’s barrister Lucien Richter claimed Siwee once had dreams of becoming a star AFL player and bringing his wife to Australia.
‘That’s all now destroyed,’ he said.
Instead, Siwee faces anywhere up to 15 years behind bars and will be deported on his release.
He will be sentenced at a later date.