56-year-old Anthony Sampieri was out on parole and high on crystal meth in November 2018 when he attacked and raped* a 7-year-old girl at a dance studio in Kogarah, a suburb of Sydney. On Wednesday, February 12th, he was sentenced to life in prison by Judge Paul Conlon.
"The offender demonstrated a callous disregard for the child," Conlon said during sentencing. He said the attack was "marked by a complete lack of empathy" and was "so grave" that it warranted the maximum penalty.
During the hearing, the court also heard from the notes of a psychiatrist that had evaluated Sampieri, stating he alleged he could not remember the attack.
"Using crystal meth, I believe that led me to what I did," Sampieri told those at the sentencing hearing.
The father of another dancer at the studio who ultimately rescued the girl by breaking down a bathroom door before being stabbed by Sampieri was also in attendance at the sentencing hearing.
Conlon praised him saying, "To you sir, I would say this: the victim, her family, everyone at the dance school and indeed the whole community are indebted to you for the courage you displayed in the face of a person wielding a knife and in successfully subduing and detaining the offender."
After the hearing, Nick Gilio told reporters that it was an "honor to have ... freed [the victim] from the hands of evil."
In June 2019 Sampieri pleaded guilty to 10 of 15 charges against him which included kidnapping, sexual intercourse with a child, choking, indecent assault and wounding.
Sampieri, who had been previously convicted for raping a 60-year-old woman at knife point, was reported during that hearing to have struggled for some time with drug, alcohol and mental health issues. He pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated sexual assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two counts of indecent assault for the 2012 rape and served only 5 years in prison before he was released on parole.
According to ABC, Sampieri is currently being treated for liver cancer and is being held at Long Bay Prison Hospital. He was reportedly asked during the sentencing hearing if he believed that doctors would be able to cure him.
"I don't think so," Sampieri said.
*Due to the potentially triggering nature of the attack, details of what the girl endured have been intentionally omitted. If you wish to know more, follow the provided links.