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Four to face court over historic indecent assault allegations

By Charlotte Harper 8 February 2016 0

ACT Magistrates Court

Three NSW men and a Kaleen man will face the ACT Magistrates Court this week following reports of historic sexual abuse investigated under ACT Policing’s Operation Attest.

The operation was established in February 2015 in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, to investigate allegations of historical sexual abuse at institutions within the ACT.

The Operation Attest team received numerous referrals which led to investigations into claims of historic sexual assaults in Canberra.

As a result, four men will face the ACT Magistrates Court (pictured above) in relation to separate allegations of historic indecent assaults. Most of the incidents are alleged to have occurred within educational institutions in Canberra between 1980 and 1986, involving male victims younger than 16 years of age at the time.

The Kaleen man, who is 60 years old, will appear in court on Thursday in relation to three charges of acts of indecency on a person under 16 years of age.

Three NSW men will appear tomorrow: an 83-year-old, in relation to two charges of indecent assault on a male and two charges of acts of indecency on a person under 16 years of age; a 69-year-old, in relation to three charges of indecent assault on a male; and a 64-year-old, in relation to three charges of indecent assault on a male.

A number of other investigations under Operation Attest are ongoing.

ACT Policing Criminal Investigations Response Detective Acting Station Sergeant Marcus Boorman said that Operation Attest would continue to take reports of historic sexual abuse in Canberra.

“I’d like to commend the people who have already come forward for their bravery in speaking out I’m certain that your courage has been an inspiration to the people around you,” Detective Acting Station Sergeant Boorman said.

“I’d also like to acknowledge the ACT Government for its work in introducing legislation which removed the statute of limitations and allowed prosecution of these types of crimes.”

He said he would not comment further on these specific cases and that the courts must be allowed to hear the matters in a manner that ensures judicial fairness.

The Operation Attest team will continue to take reports of historic sexual abuse, according to Detective Acting Station Sergeant Boorman.

“I understand that these matters are extremely personal and sensitive,” he said.

“If you require further information before making a report please do not hesitate to contact Operation Attest. Be assured criminal investigations will not commence without your consent.”

If you have witnessed or suffered sexual abuse at any institution in the ACT, and you wish to make a report to police on 131 444 or through the dedicated email address Op-Attest@afp.gov.au.

?Further information about Operation Attest is available at police.act.gov.au.

About Operation Attest

Operation Attest is a small team of highly trained members who have extensive experience in investigating historical sexual abuse matters.

In February 2015 ACT Policing established Operation Attest to investigate allegations of historical sexual abuse at institutions within the ACT, in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

On October 31, 2013 the Crimes Legislation Bill 2013 was introduced by the ACT Legislative Assembly. This amendment removed the statute of limitations allowing prosecution of certain historical sexual offences committed between 1951 and 1985. Operation Attest gives victims a streamlined process of reporting historical sexual offences at institutions, should they wish to do so.

If you are a victim of, or witness to, sexual abuse at any institution in the ACT, and you wish to make a report to police, you can contact members of Operation Attest in the following ways:

1) The dedicated e-mail address Op-Attest@afp.gov.au

2) Calling ACT Police Operations on 131 444. When speaking to the operator state you wish to speak with a member of Operation Attest and leave your contact details. A member from Operation Attest will then make contact with you.

3) Via mail addressed to:
Operation Attest
Winchester Police Centre
GPO Box 401
Canberra ACT 2601

The only information that needs to be included is your name, contact details and the best method and time to make contact. A member of Operation Attest will make contact with you once your report is received. If you require further information before making a report please do not hesitate to contact Operation Attest. Be assured criminal investigations will not commence without your consent.

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