– A sadistic rapist on the run after a vicious assault on his girlfriend has five days’ head start.
Fugitive Antonio Loguancio, 40, whose sickening violence has seen him dubbed “Mad Dog”, was on bail on weapons and drugs charges when he allegedly attacked his de facto at the weekend.
But those charges were not enough to land him back in jail for breaching a court supervision order under the Serious Sexual Offenders Act.
A warrant has now been issued for his arrest for breaching the order, made last March after his parole for rape expired. A judge then found he presented a danger of committing further sex crimes.
Supervision orders can be imposed on criminals thought to be an unacceptable risk of committing further sex crimes.
There are no equivalent supervision orders for violent offenders.
Police believe Loguancio may be in the Heidelberg, Dandenong or inner city areas, and may be driving a 1998 blue Ford Fairmont sedan, registered ZAY-968.
Senior police yesterday defended their decision not to go public about Loguancio’s disappearance until five days after the attack on his partner.
Commander Doug Fryer said police had been confident of arresting him quickly, as he was a creature of habit.
The new Victoria Police Fugitive Squad has been assigned to find him.
Loguancio had been due to face a magistrate this month on more than 10 charges, including assaulting police.
In October, he was allegedly caught carrying a controlled weapon. In November he was nabbed for possessing and carrying a controlled weapon.
In January more charges involving weapons, assaulting police and a cannabis possession were laid, after an incident in which police used capsicum spray to subdue him.
He allegedly attacked an officer in a street confrontation in Melbourne’s north.
Warrants have been issued for the alleged assault and the breach of the supervision order, which was a failure to comply with drug-testing conditions.
Loguancio’s supervision order was to last five years, but it can be reviewed after three years.
A former police officer who had dealings with Loguancio was surprised that the charges in recent months did not see him locked up under the supervision order.
Apart from his rape convictions, Loguancio also has at least 22 convictions for assault-related offences.
The State Government said last night there were no plans to introduce supervision orders for violent offenders.
A government spokesman, James Talia, said violent criminals could already be given longer-than-usual prison sentences to protect the public.
Loguancio fought the strict conditions the Corrections Department had sought to impose under the supervision order.
It asked that he live at the so-called “Village of the Damned” at Ararat, which houses other rapists and paedophiles on supervision orders.
There he could have been ordered to wear a monitoring bracelet.
It urged a ban on visits to his home or overnight stays by women, without parole board permission.
But Judge Jane Patrick, who made the order on March 16th, said the condition was too wide, too vague, too restrictive and impractical.
She said that it would not prevent his re-offending outside of his own residence.
Judge Patrick said she could not be satisfied Loguancio was a psychotic sexual sadist, but there was no doubt that the order was needed.
Corrections Victoria said the state had one of the nation’s toughest post-sentence supervision schemes, and as soon as the department received evidence that there may be an escalated risk, it fast-tracked a warrant for Mr Loguancio’s arrest – Mark Buttler, Elissa Hunt & Anthony Dowsley