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Charges laid over alleged sexual assault of two teenage girls - Mid North Coast

Wednesday, 06 October 2021 04:38:47 AM

PLEASE NOTE: Media are reminded of their obligations under s15A of the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987 and s105 of the Children and Young Person (Care and Protection) Act 1998.

Detectives have charged three men following an investigation into the alleged sexual assault of two teenage girls on the state’s Mid North Coast.

About 10pm on Saturday (2 October 2021), emergency services were called to Bent Street at Wingham, following reports two girls – aged 13 and 15 – had been sexually assaulted by three men at a nearby park.

A crime scene was established at the park and subsequently examined by specialist forensic officers.

Initial inquiries were conducted by officers attached to Manning/Great Lakes Police District, before the matter was referred to detectives from the State Crime Command’s Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad.

Following extensive inquiries, detectives arrested three men – 21, 24 and 31 – at a business at Wingham, about 11.45am yesterday (Tuesday 5 October 2021).

Another man – aged 21 – was arrested about 2.30pm at Wingham.

Two search warrants were subsequently executed at hotel rooms at Bent Street, where police seized a number of items relevant to the investigation.

All four men – who are Tongan nationals – were taken to Taree Police Station.

The 21-year-old man was charged with aggravated sexual intercourse with child (aged between 10 and 14 years).

The other 21-year-old man was charged with two counts of intentionally sexually touch child (aged between 10 and 16 years).

The 24-year-old man was charged with two counts of intentionally sexually touch child (aged between 10 and 16 years).

The three men were refused bail to appear at Taree Local Court today (Wednesday 6 October 2021).

The 31-year-old man was released without charge.

Investigators are working with the Department of Home Affairs regarding the visa status of the group.

The Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad is comprised of detectives who are specially trained to investigate matters against children and adults, including sexual assault, serious physical abuse, and extreme cases of neglect.

Anyone with concerns about suspected child abuse or exploitation should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.

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