Victims fearful following about-face on parole for 'playboy rapist'

Simon Lowe once changed his name to Bonito Monteiro, telling women it was Portuguese for "beautiful hunter".
Simon Lowe once changed his name to Bonito Monteiro, telling women it was Portuguese for "beautiful hunter".

He was the eastern suburbs lothario who seduced, manipulated and abused a string of women across Sydney.

Now, with his release from prison imminent, three victims of the so-called "playboy rapist" Simon Monteiro have broken their silence to issue a chilling warning: they fear that lives are in danger.

Fairfax Media has learned that, in a closed doors meeting last month, the State Parole Authority signalled an intention to grant Monteiro parole.

The former model and aspiring actor, who changed his name from Simon Lowe, has served nine-and-a-half years of a 12-year sentence for the rape and assault of a girlfriend in Bellevue Hill in 2009.

Once boasting of his Hollywood connections including a short relationship with Oscar nominee Barbara Hershey, he would go by the name Bonito Monteiro, telling women it was Portuguese for "beautiful hunter".

However, he has been described in court as vindictive and self-entitled, refusing to show remorse and launching several appeals and civil suits including complaints about his lack of access to yoga classes, an orthopaedic mattress, a raw food diet, a soft-bristled toothbrush, and a prison cell by the coast.

Simon Monteiro, then known as Simon Lowe, with Hollywood actress Barbara Hershey.

Simon Monteiro, then known as Simon Lowe, with Hollywood actress Barbara Hershey.

In a submission to the parole board, provided to Fairfax Media, one of his victims, Kim Gentle, said she believes his offending will only escalate. She told Fairfax Media that fearful victims point to the case of Adrian Bayley, the paroled rapist who dragged Melbourne woman Jill Meagher into a laneway, raping and killing her.

"His release into society not only puts me at risk again but also many of his past victims," she wrote in her submission.

"The offender is an extremely narcissistic, violent recidivist ... with many antisocial mental health issues that are still variously diagnosed [and] with a history of committing offences whilst on bail."

In custody, Monteiro has assaulted prison staff and threatened to rape a guard's wife. He was denied parole in 2015 and 2016, in part because he refused to complete a sex offenders program.

It's understood he has now completed a "therapeutic program" to address his offending, prompting the parole board to change its view. A petition to deny him parole has been launched by victims.

Another alleged victim, a Central Coast mother-of-two who asked not to be identified, has spoken for the first time, saying she wants every woman to know his face if he is released.

Photo shows Kay Schubach (L) and Kim Gentle (R). Photo by New Idea Magazine

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Photo shows Kay Schubach (L) and Kim Gentle (R). Photo by New Idea Magazine MUST CREDIT NEW IDEA Plaboy rapist survivor story by Rachel Olding.

Then an aspiring teenage model, she ended up alone with him at his Central Coast home in 1994 when plans to attend a party hosted by actor Julian McMahon fell through.

"As soon as I was in that situation, it was like Jekyll & Hyde. He was a different person," she said. She was pinned down and sexually assaulted, she said.

"Now he's escalated in violence, he's gone beyond the thrill of just overpowering women, now he has to humiliate and scar them. He's made a lifestyle of abusing women and victims fear what may happen. We need to be so proactive and not just sit back and wait for something to happen."

She was the third person to lay charges against Monteiro in the 1990s. After a trial in Gosford District Court, he was found not guilty.

Monteiro then met Gentle in 2001 when she was a model and publisher. Over six months, he forced her to quit her job, assaulted her, stalked her and tried to suffocate her with a pillow on her 31st birthday.

His prison sentence was downgraded to a good behaviour bond on appeal. Two days later, he wooed eastern suburbs art dealer Kay Schubach in a cafe.

She said that, after eight weeks, she was almost strangled to death in their Point Piper apartment, a crescendo of wild mood swings and controlling behaviour.

She didn't go to the police due to fear but has since written a book and campaigned with other victims for recidivists who show no remorse to be kept off the streets.

"Too many women have died at the hand of offenders who were actually well-known ... as posing a threat," said Ms Schubach, who has formed law firm Quinn Cogan Legal to help women with strategies to leave abusive relationships. "These offenders have red flags all over them."

In 2009, Monteiro was jailed for raping his girlfriend and destroying her home by smearing dirt on the walls, killing her fish and smashing her furniture. During their short relationship, he threatened her with an iron bar, raped her while holding a pair of scissors and told her her would "gut her dad like a fish" if she went to the police.

He was described by care workers as "belligerent, agitated, self entitled, abusive" and refusing to accept responsibility for his actions.

Following the private parole meeting in August, a public hearing will be held this Friday to allow parties to make submissions.

A spokeswoman for Corrective Services NSW said the prisons commissioner will oppose parole yet she would not say why. The final decision will be up to the parole board, an independent body.

A spokesman for Attorney-General Mark Speakman would not say whether he will seek a continuing detention order, a law used for the first time last month to keep a paedophile behind bars beyond the end of his sentence.

"A post-detention order can only be applied for serious sex and violence offenders who are in the last six months of their sentence," he said."

Monteiro's sentence expires in April 2020.