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'The Playboy rapist knocked me to the floor and tried to kill me. Now, he's going to walk free.'

In January last year, I told Mamamia about the time the man I loved tried to kill me.

I’d been dating Simon Lowe, who now goes by Bonito Monteiro (a name he tells women is Portuguese for “beautiful hunter”) for a matter of weeks when he knocked me to the floor of my apartment, sat on my back and tried to smother me.

I lived in a nice neighbourhood and when screamed for help I expected to hear the sirens, I expected to hear someone knock on my door to ask if I was alright. I was so shocked when no one came to help me.

Before that, he had cut me off from my friends, hid my phone and keys, bombarded me with phone calls at work until I lost my job. He once put sugar in my petrol tank.

Somehow in my apartment, I managed to escape, but I was too scared to press charges. Instead, I went into hiding under police supervision.

That was back in 2003.

It might not sound like it, but it turned out I was one of the lucky ones.

Five years later, another woman came forward. Monteiro had assaulted and raped her while holding a pair of scissors. He’d smashed a pair of glasses on her face, pulled a clump of her hair out, threatened her with iron bars and told her he would “gut her dad like a fish” if she ever went to the police.

Despite these threats, she was brave enough to press charges and Monteiro was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

I later found out he’d seduced, manipulated and abused a string of women across Sydney.

He’d previously been jailed for stalking and intimidating one partner, and had been charged with for assault occasioning actual bodily harm and destroying the property of another.

Kay Schubach. Image: Women's Legal Service.

You've probably heard of Simon. You may know him by his other name - not Bonito Monteiro, but the name the media gave him - the Playboy Rapist.

It sounds like the name of the villain in a crime investigation TV show or a 'whodunnit' novel.

But the Playboy Rapist is real.

Since Simon was jailed, he's appealed in the Supreme Court for a warmer cell by the ocean, a softer mattress and more kiwi fruit in his diet, along with a list of 26 other demands.

No contrition, no remorse, just a continuing sense of entitlement and the belief that assault and rape aren’t really serious crimes.

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The reason I'm reliving this again now is because, less than a week ago, the NSW Parole Board made the decision to release him from prison - two years before the end of his sentence.

There are restrictions around his release. He's not allowed to approach his victims and he must wear and ankle tracker, which will alert authorities if he ventures outside a set parameter.

This doesn't make me feel remotely safe or reassured. I know Monteiro. He's a predator and nothing stands in his way. He has reoffended quickly upon release in the past and I know in my heart he will do it again.

LISTEN: Holly Wainwright and the Stephens twins explore our fascination with the True Crime Genre: is it simply our love of a good story, or something more sinister? Post continues after audio...


So, together with concerned journalists and other terrified victims, I've started a petition.

We want to put pressure on the NSW Parole Board, the Attorney General NSW, Mark Speakman, the Minister for Women, Tanya Davies MP, and the Minister for Corrections, David Elliott MP, to oppose the decision to release Monteiro.

We also want to toughen laws surrounding the release of high risk serial sex offenders in Australia - but we need more support.

Serial Sex offenders who are high-risk should not be allowed on parole. In Simon’s case, the Parole Board has admitted Simon is not rehabilitated, that in fact he has unresolved mental issues, and has been involved in eight incidents inside jail including threatening to rape the wife and children of a prison guard.

The system has failed us. We cannot sit by and let ‘red flag’ offenders be released to traumatise women in the community.

Simon Bonito Monteiro. Image: Prime 7.

In 2012, Jill Meagher was murdered by dangerous paroled rapist, Adrian Bailey. Her husband, Tom Meagher, has said Monteiro's release would be an "egregious mistake".

He added: "Please have the decency and humility to learn from past mistakes."

Monteiro's victims have spoken; we're in fear for our lives. Now heed our chilling warning - other lives are in danger too.

To sign the petition, click here.

If you or someone you know is in need of support, please call the national domestic violence hotline on 1800 RESPECT or visit their website.

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