The 49-year-old man appeared briefly in Perth Magistrates Court last Saturday where he faced six charges of aggravated sexual penetration without consent, one count of deprivation of liberty, one count of unlawful wounding and one count of burglary.
He was remanded in custody and will appear again on February 22.
The then 29-year-old man who was studying in Perth, allegedly entered the woman’s Scarborough Dover Street villa through an open window on March 9, 1996 before injuring and raping the then 38-year-old woman.
Acting on an alert issued by WA Police, Australian Federal Police, officers arrested the man at Sydney Airport after he disembarked from a flight from Malaysia.
The WA State Crime Operations Squad (SCOS) successfully sought his extradition to Sydney.
Acting Detective Superintendent Peter Branchi from the SCOS said the crime would have been terrifying for the victim.
“It would have been horrifying for the victim. This man will be facing very serious matters,” he said.
Det Supt Branchi said the man had not re-entered Australia from the time police began the review.
“We understand the woman is still in WA,” he said.
The arrest came after a review of the case by SCOS, which conducts cold case reviews of unsolved historic serious offences using the latest advancements in forensic technology and modern investigative techniques.
Det Supt Branchi said once the squad received evidence in the middle of last year, they took steps towards the extradition.
“The community need to understand that we won’t let these old cases go, we will continue to investigate and we will continue to use the latest technology to solve them,” he said.