A Gold Coast man accused of sexually assaulting three women in the Hunter Region will be extradited to NSW.
Warren John McCorriston, 58, was arrested in Surfers Paradise on Wednesday and is expected to be charged with 22 offences including the rape and sexual assault of the three women between 1980 and 1999.
A Southport court refused McCorriston's application for bail before ordering his extradition to NSW where he is expected to face Tweed Local Court on Thursday afternoon.
His arrest comes as part of a cold case investigation into the disappearances of three teenage girls near Newcastle from the Lake Macquarie area.
In April police established Strike Force Arapaima to re-examine the disappearances but so far no one has been charged over them.
Investigations into the suspected murders uncovered information relating to the unrelated sexual assault allegations which prompted McCorriston's arrest.
EARLIER REPORT: Lake Macquarie detectives investigating the suspected murder of teenagers Amanda Robinson and Robyn Hickie 40 years ago have arrested a Queensland man after allegations of historical sexual assault and violence offences against three Hunter women.
Strike Force Arapaima detectives, led by Detective Sergeant Kristi Faber, travelled to Queensland today to arrest a former Hunter man, 58, at Surfers Paradise.
"About 1.20pm today a 58-year-old man was arrested by the Queensland Police Service in the presence of Strike Force Arapaima investigators at an apartment complex on Hamilton Avenue, Surfers Paradise," a NSW Police northern region command spokesperson said in a statement.
"He has been taken to Southport Watchhouse where inquiries are continuing."
The three alleged Hunter victims were advised of developments today after Strike Force Arapaima detectives joined Queensland detectives to arrest the man.
The man has not been arrested in relation to Lake Macquarie teenagers Robyn Hickie, 18, and Amanda Robinson, 14, who disappeared within weeks of each other in 1979, and Gordana Kotevski, 16, who was last seen in 1994.
Arapaima detectives investigating the suspected murder of the three Lake Macquarie teenagers and university student Leanne Goodall, 20, received information which led to the man's arrest.
Ms Hickie, a dental nurse, was last seen on April 7, 1979 after she left home at 7.15pm and was spotted at a Belmont North bus stop a short time later. She was due to meet friends at Belmont.
Two weeks later Amanda Robinson was last seen at a Swansea bus stop after attending a dance at her Gateshead high school. She disappeared somewhere between the Pacific Highway and Lake Road as she walked home from the dance.
Ms Kotevski was not seen again after she was forced into a vehicle on Powell Street while walking from Charlestown Square to her aunt's home on the same street.
Ms Goodall, 20, was not seen again after leaving the Star Hotel in Newcastle in December, 1978.
Police established Strike Force Arapaima in April, 2019 to revisit the four cases.
In November police released an image of a green mid-1970s four-door Holden Torana sedan which Lake Macquarie Police District crime manager Detective Chief Inspector Greg Thomas described as a "significant" new lead.
Police believed the car may be linked to the disappearances of Ms Hickie and Ms Robinson.
"We are hoping anyone who was living in the Lake Macquarie region in the late 1970s may have a recollection of this Holden Torana, in particular in the month of April, 1979," he said.
"It may seem like small or insignificant information from decades past - but it could help investigators solve these cases."
After an inquest in 2002 coroner John Abernethy was highly critical of original police investigations of Ms Hickie, Ms Robinson and Ms Goodall's disappearances, which he described as "ad hoc, unstructured and dysfunctional".
Police had failed to consider a possible link between the three disappearances, despite them occurring within months of each other and in the same area, had failed to take statements to establish alibis for people of interest and had failed to follow up leads.
Mr Abernethy identified five men as possible "persons of interest", including backpacker murder Ivan Milat and a convicted rapist.
It was "a failure of extreme magnitude" that no formal investigation was ever conducted into Ms Goodall's disappearance after she was listed merely as a missing person, Mr Abernethy said.
His strong criticisms of the 1979 investigation prompted the NSW Police Service to issue an apology to the families for the inadequate handling of the cases.
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