DPP v Prodanovich [2019] VCC 1730

Sentence summary: Rape

An aged-care worker was jailed for raping an elderly woman in her family home.

Simon Prodanovich, 59, pleaded guilty to one charge of rape and was sentenced to eight years prison with a non-parole period of five years and six months.

The offender arrived at an elderly couple’s home for a regular visit to care for an 86-year-old man in a wheelchair.

After initially tending to his patient, whom he wheeled into another room, the offender began massaging the legs of the man’s 83-year-old wife and digitally raped her.

The Court heard the offender licked his fingers before the offending and told his victim “ladies love that”.

The victim had been taking medication for her legs at the time, but the offender had insisted a massage would be more helpful. The offender fled after the victim demanded he stop.

The presiding judge labelled the offending as “appalling, reprehensible and repulsive”.

"She felt so angry and confused about why you would do something like this to a woman her age. She felt fooled and betrayed by you," the judge said.

Mitigating factors included an abusive childhood, low IQ levels and an early plea of guilty.

However, the judge also highlighted the plea came after strenuous denials.

The Court heard the offender told police "I was in bed last night thinking why this person had made an allegation”.

"The only thing I could think of (was) retribution, anger as to why I didn't assist her (the woman) while I was there," the Court heard.

The judge questioned the offender’s claim the crimes were the result of a "brain failure" and could not offer an explanation as to why he'd committed the assault.

"I have difficulty understanding what you really meant by that," the judge said.

The judge said the victim impact statement provided an insight into the gravity of the offending.

“She was recently in hospital and was in fear when placed in a ward with three other men,” the judge said.

“She felt too anxious to talk to them or be friendly out of fear she would be raped again and she had to be moved from the room.”

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Page last updated: 5 May 2020