Mohammed Skaf, a gang rapist who was sentenced to 21 years in prison for his role in a series of brutal attacks on Sydney schoolgirls that included his brother and 14 other males, has been released.
The State Parole Authority gave Skaf, 38, parole last month after determining that his release into the community, subject to strict conditions, was the best approach to preserve community safety.
Skaf was released from Long Bay jail on Wednesday morning after a successful parole bid three years after becoming eligible.
He will be subject to electronic surveillance 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will be prohibited from contacting victims or their families under the terms of his parole.
He will not be allowed to be alone in the presence of anyone under the age of 16 or to contact anyone under the age of 16 without prior permission.
He’ll meet with a Community Corrections officer on a regular basis and take part in mental health and community initiatives.
Skaf’s prison sentence was set to expire in January 2024, and authorities had been working to gently reintegrate him into society by providing him some external leave to participate in training programs or volunteer in the community.
However, because to COVID-19, Corrective Services NSW banned external leave this year, and the parole authority ruled that Skaf’s only feasible alternative for reintegration was release into the community.
“This is the only opportunity to supervise a safe transition into the community in the small window of time that we have left,”parole authority chairman David Frearson, SC said in a statement announcing the parole decision last month.
“Release without structure or supervision makes little sense for community protection.”
According to records filed in Skaf’s parole proceedings, authorities are concerned about Skaf’s attitude toward his violent sexual offenses and feel he offers a “far above average” risk of reoffending.
Despite receiving thorough treatment in detention, Skaf has constantly blamed his victims and denied his guilt, according to investigators.
Skaf brought a 16-year-old acquaintance to Greenacre’s Gosling Park, and he was the victim of one of the attacks. Skaf’s brother and another man raped the girl while others stood by and watched. Before she was able to flee, a gun was pointed at her head.
Skaf recently admitted that “maybe” the victim did not offer consent and that his perspective on the crime had changed, according to the state’s submission to the parole board.
After completing a last prison program called Real Understanding of Self-Help (RUSH), which was designed to help him regulate his emotions and interactions with others, he was granted parole.
Skaf, who has spent more than half of his life in jail, is now considered institutionalized, and his reintroduction into society will be difficult.
Judge Frearson, the chairman of the parole authority, warned Skaf in an August hearing:
You need to be very, very careful that you stay out of any trouble, you need to co-operate and, if you are given parole at some point, you need to abide strictly by the provisions of parole, otherwise you will come back.
“Of course,” Skaf replied.
Skaf stated in his parole application that after his release, he would be supported by his family and work as a cleaner at a family-owned business.
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