A BENDIGO taxi driver accused of raping three women has been committed to stand trial.
Robert McNeil Byrnes, 44, appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates Court yesterday for a committal mention and was ordered to return in July.
Magistrate Jennifer Tregent said six witnesses would be cross-examined in the three-day trial from July 10–12.
Byrnes has been charged with a series of sex offences including four counts of rape.
He was bailed on January 18 and ordered to stay out of Bendigo, with bail conditions restricting him from entering a 60 kilometre radius of the Bendigo central business district.
The court heard in January that Byrnes had been offered employment in Echuca and had moved to the town with his wife.
A plaster business owner later denied he had offered Byrnes employment.
In the meantime, Byrnes has been ordered to report daily to Echuca police and put under a curfew where he cannot leave his home between the hours of 9pm and 6am without his wife’s company.
Byrnes was arrested in October, 2012, for a range of charges, including rape, unlawful assault and false imprisonment.
Police allege the offences were committed in March, April and October last year, and said two of the alleged victims were passengers in Byrnes’ taxi.
The court heard that one of the passengers had been picked up by Byrnes from a night club before he put his hat over the car’s camera and allegedly raped her in Kangaroo Flat last October.
The three-day criminal proceedings will begin July 10.