WARNING: Graphic content

A convicted rapist who brutally attacked a seven-year-old girl inside a Sydney dance studio toilet, before slashing a good Samaritan who tried to stop him, will be sentenced today.

Anthony Peter Sampieri, 55, pleaded guilty to seven charges relating to the brutal rape the seven-year-old girl in the Kogarah studio's public toilet in November 2018.

Sampieri was late to arrive in court this morning because of the rain.

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But, as he walked into the dock in a green jump suit and with a shaved head, a member of the public gallery could be heard saying: "There he is, the little piece of s**t."

Jeffery Stack restrained Sampieri until police arrived. Photo / news.com.au.
Jeffery Stack restrained Sampieri until police arrived. Photo / news.com.au.

Dance teacher and local dentist Jeffrey Stack and former dance student father Nick Gilio, who put their lives on the line to try to rescue the girl that day, were among those watching on in court today.

Sampieri grabbed tissues and blew his nose as the prosecution and his solicitor discussed the details of the case.

He was asked whether he'd like to say anything to Mr Gilio.

"I've had a while to think about this; I feel really, really bad for what I've done," he said.

"If I could change it I would but I can't; but I understand and appreciate Mr Gilio's feelings towards me. I understand that. I can't change that."

To the girl, he said: "I'm so, so sorry for what I did. Using crystal meth, I believe that led me to what I did. I'm sorry I let you down by using crystal meth."

He told the court he started using ice because of depression and he bumped into someone he knew near to where he lived in Kogarah and used it as an "opportunity to score".

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He described his addiction as "an insanity".

The court heard he would take ice in public toilets and masturbate, because he didn't want to do it in front of his mother at home.

He said he would also like to apologise to the people he made lewd phone calls to, saying his behaviour was "sick".

The court heard he had written notes in his house saying "don't do drugs", "don't use masturbation as a method to relieve loneliness" and "don't watch hardcore pornography".

He told the court ice was a "sexual drug" and his deviant behaviour and meth abuse went "hand-in-hand".

The court heard he was prescribed Androcur to suppress his sexual urges at "some time in the 2000s". But he told the court he stopped, but doesn't remember why.

The court heard that on November 10, 2018, five days before the dance studio assault, he texted a mate saying he needed to get "off the product", meaning ice.

He has also been spoken to by his landlord about his lewd phone calls, and had been spoken to by police.

The crown prosecution put it to him that watching hardcore pornography was also a trigger in his deviant behaviour.

 Anthony Peter Sampieri, 55,rape a seven-year-old girl in the Kogarah studio's public toilet in November 2018. Photo / news.com.au.
Anthony Peter Sampieri, 55,rape a seven-year-old girl in the Kogarah studio's public toilet in November 2018. Photo / news.com.au.

However, he told the court he wouldn't "normally" watch hardcore pornography if he was "sober" and that ice was the sole reason behind his offending.

He told police he was introduced to sex through "XXX pornography" since the age of 11 and the court heard he had used masturbation as a way to control his emotions.

Sampieri was supposed to be sentenced in December, but it was delayed after it was revealed the 55-year-old had liver cancer.

Court documents show that he was high on methamphetamine as he lurked in the St George Dance Centre's toilets in Kogarah on November 15, 2018.

His seven-year-old victim had finished her jazz ballet class, when her ordeal began. She and her mother waited for her sister's class to finish.

Dressed in a black, navy and silver jazz ballet outfit, the girl went to the carpark underneath the dance hall with her mother, but then felt an urgent need to go to the toilet.

Leaving her mother in the carpark, the girl walked up to the dance hall female toilets about 6.48pm.
Sampieri was already inside, having arrived at the dance hall more than an hour earlier to watch pornography on his mobile phone, first in the male toilets then in the female toilets.

When the seven-year-old – who weighed only 25kg and was 130cm tall – entered, Sampieri grabbed her. She resisted and he punched her in the left cheek.

Sampieri produced a knife with a 4cm blade and said "this is my knife and I don't want to use it".

He tied a black cord around the victim's neck — making it hard for her to breathe — and pulled her out of the female toilet and into the male toilet.

Inside the male toilets, Sampieri locked the girl inside a cubicle where he had placed a needle and two black bags on the floor before sexually assaulting her.

Sampieri turned out the toilet light and told the girl if she made a noise he would "cut her neck off".

At 7.30pm in the dance hall carpark, the victim's sister turned up, making the victim's mother wonder where her seven-year-old was.

A dance teacher and local dentist, Jeffrey Stack, began searching with the mother, who used her mobile phone light to look under the door of the men's toilet where she saw a pair of shoes.

They knocked on the door of a closed cubicle, and Mr Stack returned to knock again, hearing a mumble from Sampieri inside.

Sampieri walked out into the corridor, past dance student father Nick Gilio and the victim's mother.

At 7.30pm in the dance studio's carpark, the victim's sister turned up, this is when the mother went looking for her daughter. Photo / news.com.au.
At 7.30pm in the dance studio's carpark, the victim's sister turned up, this is when the mother went looking for her daughter. Photo / news.com.au.

Mr Gilio asked Sampieri if he'd seen a little girl and the rapist replied he hadn't.

When Mr Gilio and the mother walked back into the toilet followed by Sampieri, they saw the girl.

As Sampieri dashed for the door, Mr Gilio grabbed him and said, "Is this what you do … Is this what you f***ing do?" and rammed his head into the wall.

Mr Stack heard the mother's scream and returned to the toilet, but could not get inside where the victim, her mother, Mr Gilio and the offender were inside.

Sampieri produced his knife and lunged at Mr Gilio, slashing his stomach, which immediately began bleeding, and prevented them from leaving the bathroom.

Mr Gilio put an arm around Sampieri's head and held his knife hand.

When they toppled to the floor, Sampieri cut Mr Gilio's wrist, then slashed his neck with the blade from ear to ear across the back of Mr Gilio's neck causing a 14cm wound.

When Mr Gilio put Sampieri in a headlock, the offender tried to bite him and then Mr Stack opened the door and punched Sampieri in the face until he went limp.

Police arrived at 7.56pm to find Sampieri naked from the waist down, covered in blood and unresponsive.

In the ambulance to hospital, Sampieri said, "I was in the bathroom shooting up meth with another male. He attacked me and stole my meth."

The little girl was taken to Randwick Children's Hospital, where doctors found a swollen cheek, mouth lesions, neck bruises and abrasions, chest bruises, and abrasions on her legs, arms and back.

Mr Gilio's neck and stomach wounds required stitches.

Analysis of Sampieri's blood found methamphetamine, amphetamine, Diazepam and Nordiazepam.

Pornography was later found during a search of the Kogarah home Sampieri shared with his mother.

Also found at the house were two tourniquets and a document about sexual thoughts and fantasies.

Sampieri later admitted to police that at the time of the offences "I was so high … sexually charged" and that he felt that way when regularly using "crystal meth".

The hero father who went to the girl's aid said he had been left with a lifetime of pain, horror and physical and mental injuries since Sampieri slit his neck with a scalpel.

"I was stabbed in the abdomen," Mr Gilio said in his victim's impact statement.

"The terror and feeling of a scalpel being dragged across the back of my neck with no thought for who I am … or my family."

Mr Gilio said he had ongoing physical and psychological trauma, including tightness in the back of his neck and debilitating flashbacks of the attack he would have "for a lifetime".

He said the trauma and injury meant he had a lack of concentration, meaning he couldn't pursue his chosen job as a diesel mechanic.

He said he was fearful for the welfare of all children and was constantly checking doors and windows.

"The flashbacks will … never stop," he said. "I was a happy go lucky man.

"I was active, I enjoyed exercising and socialising."

Now, Mr Gilio said, he couldn't ride his motor bike, go out for long or relax.

"I feel as though a huge part of me has died on the night of that incident," he said. "I see all children as vulnerable.

"I feel as if I am responsible for protecting all children all the time. I feel frightened for them."

SEXUAL HARM - DO YOU NEED HELP?

If it's an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

If you've ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone contact Safe to Talk confidentially:

• Call 0800 044 334

• Text 4334

• Email support@safetotalk.nz

• For more info or to web chat visit www.safetotalk.nz

Alternatively contact your local police station -