WARNING: Distressing content.

A carer whose job was to make elderly patients feel safe and looked after took advantage of an 82-year-old woman in a way that a judge today described as "despicable", "appalling" and "repulsive".

Simon Prodanovich was jailed for five-and-a-half years this afternoon by Victorian County Court Judge Susan Pullen after pleading guilty to one count of rape.

He cried during sentencing but the tears were for himself, not for his victim.


He did not cry when the judge described the elderly woman's ongoing trauma or her fear of men, news.com.au reports.

The only thing that made the 58-year-old reach for the tissues was her description of his "difficult upbringing".

Sitting in the dock dressed in a blue suit and tie, Prodanovich barely flinched when details of his horrific crime were read out to the court.

Simon Prodanovich was jailed for at least five-and-a-half years today. Photo / Supplied
Simon Prodanovich was jailed for at least five-and-a-half years today. Photo / Supplied

Judge Pullen revealed how on January 12 this year the OmniCare employee walked through the front door of his victim's Mount Waverley home to find her in bed next to her elderly husband, 86.

The couple, who took on the pseudonyms JW and BW, needed to be washed, but Prodanovich did the unthinkable.

He washed the elderly male, who could not walk and needed to be transported in a wheelchair.

Then he wheeled him out of the room and told the elderly woman he would give her a massage.

He walked to her side, massaged her legs and then lifted her nightdress and told her "ladies like that" as he raped her.


As she protested, her husband sat unable to help in the adjacent room.

"Her husband wanted to protect her, but could not," Judge Pullen said. "Your crime brutalised her."

Prodanovich left the home quickly but further insulted his victim by telling police she had made up the entire ordeal.

In a pre-prepared statement, he told police he was "gobsmacked" by the accusation that he had raped the woman and that she had "fabricated" the story.

"That is totally false," he told detectives. "I was in bed thinking 'why would this person make this allegation'."

But his confession would come later when forensic tests revealed his DNA was on the victim near a 4cm tear in her vaginal wall.

"Your offending behaviour was nothing short of appalling, reprehensive and repulsive," Judge Pullen told him.

She acknowledged he had shown "some remorse" but said she was "concerned by your lack of remorse" and a lack of explanation for the offending.

Prodanovich's only explanation came by way of two words. He called the rape a "brain failure".

Outside court, the man who hired the now-convicted rapist told news.com.au he never saw it coming. Background checks were clear and Prodanovich, who had only just graduated with a Certificate IV, had a clean record.

"The only thing that would've helped us is a clairvoyant," he said.

The OmniCare boss said staff at the service were receiving counselling and were "beside themselves" after learning their colleague was a rapist.

Simon Prodanovich will spend at least 5.5 years in prison. Photo / Supplied
Simon Prodanovich will spend at least 5.5 years in prison. Photo / Supplied

In a heartbreaking victim impact statement, the victim said she was angry and unable to trust people.

"Your actions caused her anger, fear and a lack of trust in males," Judge Pullen said.

"She felt fooled and betrayed by you. Stress had impacted on her physical health. She felt frightened around men, which had never been a problem before. When remembering what happened she sometimes cries."

Prodanovich was born in Yugoslavia and moved to Australia with his father when he was a child. Judge Pullen said his father abused him when he was a boy and that he moved out of home at the age of 18.

He worked as a telemarketer and in debt collection before landing a job with the Brotherhood of St Laurence and later with OmniCare.

Having served three days in prison, Prodanovich will not be eligible for parole until April, 2025.