Sampieri pleaded guilty to seven charges relating to the brutal rape the seven-year-old girl in dance studio public toilet. Picture: Hollie Adams
Sampieri pleaded guilty to seven charges relating to the brutal rape the seven-year-old girl in dance studio public toilet. Picture: Hollie Adams

Chilling notes rapist made to stop himself

WARNING: Graphic content

A convicted rapist who brutally attacked a seven-year-old girl inside a Sydney dance studio toilet, left a series of notes around his home reminding him to change his ways.

Anthony Peter Sampieri, 55, pleaded guilty to seven charges relating to the brutal rape the seven-year-old girl in the Kogarah studio's public toilet in November 2018.

At a sentencing hearing at Sydney's Downing Centre today, the court heard about a bizarre series of events leading up to the attack which saw Sampieri visit a beauticians, where he asked to be waxed and to have a pedicure, and an op-shop where he took women's clothes into a changing room.

Sampieri apologised to the young girl in court today, saying his addiction to crystal meth had caused his actions that day.

The court heard how he believed ice was a "sexual drug" and his deviant behaviour and meth abuse went "hand-in-hand".

Prosecutor Sally Traynor said he had left written notes in his house with reminders like"don't do drugs", "don't use masturbation as a method to relieve loneliness" and "don't watch hardcore pornography".

However, Sampieri told the court those notes were the "last thing" on his mind when he attacked the young girl.

Anthony Peter Sampieri launched a sexual attack on the primary schoolgirl at the St George Dance Centre. Picture: Hollie Adams
Anthony Peter Sampieri launched a sexual attack on the primary schoolgirl at the St George Dance Centre. Picture: Hollie Adams

"I'd reached a point where the stuff I'd carried in my thinking started to really change and it's not good," he said.

He said that he was in such a state of sexual excitement that he would have attacked anyone who walked into the bathroom that day.

In the 48 hours leading up to that, the court heard Sampieri went on an ice binge around Kogarah that saw him visit a beauticians the day before the attack.

Ms Traynor said Sampieri asked a beautician "do you want to have a look?" and pointed to his penis - and she ran out of the room as he tried to film the incident.

The court heard he injected ice at a number of toilets in the suburb, including at a child psychologists, a library and a dentists.

Sampieri told police he injected more ice when he arrived at the dance studio where the attack took place on November 15. He said he stumbled across the studio when he was looking for somewhere to "shoot up".

Asked why he filmed his offending that night he told the court, "because I had the means to do it and I had that much crystal meth that it seemed the best thing to do at the time".

However, the crown said his actions that day were planned, not impulsive, and that he filmed the attack for his own gratification.

"The offender was looking for some kind of sexual gratification and filming women was not enough, he had to attack someone to fulfil his sexual desires," the prosecutor said.

She said he called another child's dance studio that afternoon, before the attack.

"It must have been obvious that children would have been present (at the one he," Ms Traynor said.

"He deliberately placed himself there with the a knife and a tourniquet. He had a long and enduring fantasy of tying up women in his sexual fantasies."

RAPIST HECKLED AS HE WALKED IN

Sampieri's sentencing has been delayed until Wednesday and he was late to arrive in court this morning because of the rain.

But, as he walked into the dock in a green jump suit and with a shaved head, a member of the public gallery could be heard saying: "There he is, the little piece of s**t."

Dance teacher and local dentist Jeffrey Stack and former dance student father Nick Gilio, who put their lives on the line to try to rescue the girl that day, were among those watching on in court today.

Sampieri grabbed tissues and blew his nose as the prosecution and his solicitor discussed the details of the case.

He was asked whether he'd like to say anything to Mr Gilio.

"I've had a while to think about this; I feel really, really bad for what I've done," he said.

"If I could change it I would but I can't; but I understand and appreciate Mr Gilio's feelings towards me. I understand that. I can't change that."

To the girl, he said: "I'm so, so sorry for what I did. Using crystal meth, I believe that led me to what I did. I'm sorry I let you down by using crystal meth."

He told the court he started using ice because of depression and he bumped into someone he knew near to where he lived in Kogarah and used it as an "opportunity to score".

He described his addiction as "an insanity".

The court heard he would take ice in public toilets and masturbate, because he didn't want to do it in front of his mother at home.

He said he would also like to apologise to the people he made lewd phone calls to, saying his behaviour was "sick".

The court heard he had written notes in his house saying "don't do drugs", "don't use masturbation as a method to relieve loneliness" and "don't watch hardcore pornography".

He told the court ice was a "sexual drug" and his deviant behaviour and meth abuse went "hand-in-hand".

The court heard he was prescribed Androcur to suppress his sexual urges at "some time in the 2000s". But he told the court he stopped, but doesn't remember why.

The court heard that on November 10, 2018, five days before the dance studio assault, he texted a mate saying he needed to get "off the product", meaning ice.

He has also been spoken to by his landlord about his lewd phone calls, and had been spoken to by police.

Sampieri was lurking in the centre’s toilets before the attack.
Sampieri was lurking in the centre’s toilets before the attack.

The crown prosecution put it to him that watching hardcore pornography was also a trigger in his deviant behaviour.

However, he told the court he wouldn't "normally" watch hardcore pornography if he was "sober" and that ice was the sole reason behind his offending.

He told police he was introduced to sex through "XXX pornography" since the age of 11 and the court heard he had used masturbation as a way to control his emotions.

He said that he was in such a state of sexual excitement that he would have attacked anyone who walked into the bathroom that day.

Asked why he filmed his offending he said, "because I had the means to do it and I had that much crystal meth that it seemed the best thing to do at the time".

RAPIST UNDERGOING CANCER TREATMENT

Sampieri was supposed to be sentenced in December, but it was delayed after it was revealed the 55-year-old had liver cancer.

Court documents show that he was high on methamphetamine as he lurked in the St George Dance Centre's toilets in Kogarah on November 15, 2018.

His seven-year-old victim had finished her jazz ballet class, when her ordeal began. She and her mother waited for her sister's class to finish.

Dressed in a black, navy and silver jazz ballet outfit, the girl went to the carpark underneath the dance hall with her mother, but then felt an urgent need to go to the toilet.

Leaving her mother in the carpark, the girl walked up to the dance hall female toilets about 6.48pm.

Sampieri was already inside, having arrived at the dance hall more than an hour earlier to watch pornography on his mobile phone, first in the male toilets then in the female toilets.

When the seven-year-old - who weighed only 25kg and was 130cm tall - entered, Sampieri grabbed her. She resisted and he punched her in the left cheek.

Sampieri produced a knife with a 4cm blade and said "this is my knife and I don't want to use it".

He tied a black cord around the victim's neck - making it hard for her to breathe - and pulled her out of the female toilet and into the male toilet.

Inside the male toilets, Sampieri locked the girl inside a cubicle where he had placed a needle and two black bags on the floor before sexually assaulting her.

Sampieri turned out the toilet light and told the girl if she made a noise he would "cut her neck off".

At 7.30pm in the dance hall carpark, the victim's sister turned up, making the victim's mother wonder where her seven-year-old was.

A dance teacher and local dentist, Jeffrey Stack, began searching with the mother, who used her mobile phone light to look under the door of the men's toilet where she saw a pair of shoes.

They knocked on the door of a closed cubicle, and Mr Stack returned to knock again, hearing a mumble from Sampieri inside.

Sampieri walked out into the corridor, past dance student father Nick Gilio and the victim's mother.

Mr Gilio asked Sampieri if he'd seen a little girl and the rapist replied he hadn't.

When Mr Gilio and the mother walked back into the toilet followed by Sampieri, they saw the girl.

As Sampieri dashed for the door, Mr Gilio grabbed him and said, "Is this what you do … Is this what you f***ing do?" and rammed his head into the wall.

Jeffrey Stack restrained Sampieri until police arrived. Picture: Flavio Brancaleone
Jeffrey Stack restrained Sampieri until police arrived. Picture: Flavio Brancaleone

Mr Stack heard the mother's scream and returned to the toilet, but could not get inside where the victim, her mother, Mr Gilio and the offender were inside.

Sampieri produced his knife and lunged at Mr Gilio, slashing his stomach, which immediately began bleeding, and prevented them from leaving the bathroom.

Mr Gilio put an arm around Sampieri's head and held his knife hand.

When they toppled to the floor, Sampieri cut Mr Gilio's wrist, then slashed his neck with the blade from ear to ear across the back of Mr Gilio's neck causing a 14cm wound.

When Mr Gilio put Sampieri in a headlock, the offender tried to bite him and then Mr Stack opened the door and punched Sampieri in the face until he went limp.

Police arrived at 7.56pm to find Sampieri naked from the waist down, covered in blood and unresponsive.

The little girl was taken to Randwick Children’s Hospital after the attack.
The little girl was taken to Randwick Children’s Hospital after the attack.

In the ambulance to hospital, Sampieri said, "I was in the bathroom shooting up meth with another male. He attacked me and stole my meth."

The little girl was taken to Randwick Children's Hospital, where doctors found a swollen cheek, mouth lesions, neck bruises and abrasions, chest bruises, and abrasions on her legs, arms and back.

Mr Gilio's neck and stomach wounds required stitches.

Analysis of Sampieri's blood found methamphetamine, amphetamine, Diazepam and Nordiazepam.

Police found two tourniquets and a document about sexual thoughts and fantasies at Sampieri’s home. Picture: Supplied
Police found two tourniquets and a document about sexual thoughts and fantasies at Sampieri’s home. Picture: Supplied

Pornography was later found during a search of the Kogarah home Sampieri shared with his mother.

Also found at the house were two tourniquets and a document about sexual thoughts and fantasies.

Sampieri later admitted to police that at the time of the offences "I was so high … sexually charged" and that he felt that way when regularly using "crystal meth".

The hero father who went to the girl's aid said he had been left with a lifetime of pain, horror and physical and mental injuries since Sampieri slit his neck with a scalpel.

"I was stabbed in the abdomen," Mr Gilio said in his victim's impact statement.

"The terror and feeling of a scalpel being dragged across the back of my neck with no thought for who I am … or my family."

Mr Gilio said he had ongoing physical and psychological trauma, including tightness in the back of his neck and debilitating flashbacks of the attack he would have "for a lifetime".

Mechanic Nicola Gilio gave a powerful victim impact statement in court. Picture: AAP Image/Luke Costin
Mechanic Nicola Gilio gave a powerful victim impact statement in court. Picture: AAP Image/Luke Costin

He said the trauma and injury meant he had a lack of concentration, meaning he couldn't pursue his chosen job as a diesel mechanic.

He said he was fearful for the welfare of all children and was constantly checking doors and windows.

"The flashbacks will … never stop," he said. "I was a happy go lucky man.

"I was active, I enjoyed exercising and socialising."

Now, Mr Gilio said, he couldn't ride his motor bike, go out for long or relax.

"I feel as though a huge part of me has died on the night of that incident," he said. "I see all children as vulnerable.

"I feel as if I am responsible for protecting all children all the time. I feel frightened for them."

If this story has raised issues of concern for you or someone you know, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit lifeline.org.au, or Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800.