Simone Vartolo has been around Wollongong. Picture: Facebook
Simone Vartolo has been around Wollongong. Picture: Facebook

Rapist harasses women in new state

A man who spent less than four years in prison for raping a sleeping woman in Perth has moved to the other side of the country, where he is allegedly continuing to harass women.

In a Facebook post that has since gone viral, Wollongong local Cassie Bryan warned other women about the man named Simone Vartolo.

"Just wanted to a give a warning to other girls about a man that approached me and my cousin both today in different locations," Ms Bryan wrote.

"This guy goes by 'Simmo', is a PT, supposed massage therapist and model and is from Italy."

Ms Bryan said she was allegedly harassed at Port Kembla beach early yesterday morning when she was on a morning walk.

"He wouldn't leave me alone until I put his number in my phone after me telling him multiple times I wasn't interested," she alleged.

Ms Bryan said less than six hours later Vartolo was at Wollongong train station where he spoke to her cousin, allegedly refusing to let her on the train until she gave him her number.

Ms Bryan said after a quick Google, they found Vartolo had worked at a gym in WA but was fired after he was convicted of rape.

"If you have been approached by this man please contact police as they are looking into him," she said.


Simone Vartolo has been around Wollongong. Picture: Facebook
Simone Vartolo has been around Wollongong. Picture: Facebook

A spokesperson for NSW Police said they were aware of the alleged approaches in Port Kembla and Wollongong.

"Officers from Lake Illawarra Police District have commenced inquiries," the spokesperson said.

"Any person who has been approached or has concerns is urged to contact police. Police are issuing a reminder for people to contact police as the first point of call with a physical description of the individual or vehicle involved."

Ms Bryan's post has since received more than 400 comments and has been shared close to 350 times.

Speaking to, Ms Bryan said she was "overwhelmed" at how many women responded to her words.

"I have had girls inboxing me also, three told me the same thing has happened to them, one to the point were they had to kick Simone out of the store she was in and lock the doors until police arrived," she said.

Ms Bryan said she was glad her post had gained traction but it was "sad" she now couldn't go out without feeling fearful.

"I can't even go for a morning beach walk to set my head straight for the day and ease my anxiety without being harassed like I was, same with every other girl that's experienced this," she said.

Ms Byran said she was speaking to detectives at a local police station about it.

RELATED: The Australian states where raping children is called 'maintaining a relationship'


Vartolo previously lived in Perth. Picture: Facebook
Vartolo previously lived in Perth. Picture: Facebook


Vartolo was convicted of raping a sleeping woman at her home in the Perth suburb of Northbridge in April 2013.

He was initially sentenced to two years in jail for raping the woman, while her boyfriend slept, but his sentence was increased after prosecutors appealed it on the grounds it was "manifestly inadequate" and Vartolo had not shown remorse.

The Court of Appeal agreed and upped his sentence to three-and-a-half years. He was required to serve at least 21 months in jail before being released on parole.

It's not known when Vartolo returned to Wollongong - he had previously lived in the city years ago - however a number of women have reported being approached by him at least a year ago.

One young Wollongong woman had a particularly harrowing story, alleging he had tried to kiss her on the street.

"About a year ago I encountered the same experience with him. I felt highly uncomfortable," she said.

"He would not stop harassing me for my number, which I did not give to him … I ended up pretending to send a FB request, as he was EXTREMELY persistent and I felt as though if I didn't, he would not leave me alone … He tried to kiss me and I moved my head. Then I walked away to avoid him, when he followed me and grabbed me in another attempt to kiss me once again … this time I raised my voice and physically pushed him away, which is when he left me alone and I left the event early.

"Upon speaking to my friend about it, he has done this to other woman."


Simone Vartolo is on police radar. Picture: Facebook
Simone Vartolo is on police radar. Picture: Facebook


"This guy stopped me too, wanted my number! Seemed like a nice guy! Shocking to know how many girls he has tried to approach, and harassing them. Please be careful girls, don't walk alone at night, if he approaches you, call the police! Cant trust anyone out there," one woman said.

"OMG this was the guy I was telling you about," another said, tagging her friend.

"The guy that literally picked me up and swung me around that one time on the street in Wollongong. Asked for my number too but was getting super off vibes so I put a fake number into his phone. I wish I would have known!"

"He approached me today as well out the front of Club Lime after telling me he had seen me there before. Managed to get away from him thankfully," a fourth woman said.

"He tried getting my number when I was walking home from a friends house when I was 12, and then again earlier this year when I was waiting at a bus stop. I had to say I had a boyfriend and he still wasn't deterred but eventually left me alone," a fifth added.

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