7 July 2022

Man accused of strangling child in woodland committed to stand trial

| Albert McKnight
Law Court

Anthony James Keyon, 23, has been committed to face a trial in the ACT Supreme Court. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

A young man accused of strangling and attempting to sexually assault an 11-year-old girl after dragging her off her bike as she rode down a woodland path will face a trial in Canberra’s higher court.

Anthony James Kenyon, 23, has been held in custody since his arrest in February this year and has been refused bail twice.

The Calwell man appeared over the phone in the ACT Magistrates Court on Wednesday (6 July). His lawyer, Andrew Byrnes, said he maintained his not guilty pleas to all three charges against him and wanted to be committed to the Supreme Court for trial.

Magistrate Robert Cook committed him to the higher court and said the first mention of the case, to begin organising a trial date, would be on 14 July.

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Court documents say the girl had been cycling home from school on the afternoon of 23 February 2022 through Fadden Pines in southern Canberra when she allegedly saw Mr Kenyon coming towards her on the same path.

He allegedly shoved her off her bike, dragged her off the path, sat on her stomach, put his hands around her neck and squeezed for about 10 seconds.

The girl said she couldn’t breathe and thought she was going to die. She lost consciousness.

Another man was walking the same path around that time and alleged he saw Mr Kenyon appearing to hide in the trees before walking away.

Thinking it was strange behaviour, the man looked around and found the girl lying unconscious on the ground.

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Additional court documents say a laptop had been found in Mr Kenyon’s mother’s living room, where he had been sleeping, that had allegedly accessed a website used to share erotic pictures and pornographic videos. Search terms on the computer included ‘girl’, ‘rape’, ‘force’ and ‘felony murder’.

Mr Kenyon has been charged with assault, choking and sexual assault in the third degree.

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