19 April 2024

Multi-business owner accused of historical child sex crimes against two girls

| Albert McKnight
Court Coat of Arms

A man has been handed nine charges accusing him of committing offences against two girls. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

CONTENT WARNING: This article refers to alleged child abuse.

A man who owns multiple businesses was granted bail after he was handed nine charges accusing him of committing historical sex abuse crimes against two children.

Earlier this year, officers received reports relating to alleged historical sexual offending against two children, ACT Policing said.

Their investigation resulted in the man, aged in his 50s but currently not named for legal reasons, being arrested on Wednesday (17 April) before he faced the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday (18 April).

He is accused of either raping or indecently assaulting two girls, one aged between about four and seven and the other starting when she was aged between about 13 and 15, from the 2010s to the 2020s.

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He was formally charged with single counts of sexual intercourse with a person under 16 and sexual intercourse without consent, as well as two counts of committing an act of indecency on a person under 10 and five counts of committing an act of indecency without consent.

His lawyer, Michael Kukulies-Smith of Kamy Saeedi Law, said his client would enter not guilty pleas and apply for bail.

Prosecutor Gretta Cuthel said the two complainants did not want bail to be granted, but the man had no criminal history, and she thought there were currently no risks to him being released that bail conditions could not ameliorate.

However, the lawyers disagreed over a condition requiring the man not to leave the ACT.

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The court heard he has homes in the Territory and NSW, and police were concerned that he might contact witnesses.

Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker ultimately did not think there was a flight risk and granted bail on conditions including that he not contact the two complainants, not contact children unless in the company of another adult, and either live at his homes in the ACT or NSW.

The matter will return to court in June for a pre-hearing mention.

If this story has raised any concerns for you, 1800RESPECT, the national 24-hour sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line, can be contacted on 1800 737 732. Help and support are also available through the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre on 02 6247 2525, the Domestic Violence Crisis Service ACT 02 6280 0900, and Lifeline on 13 11 14. In an emergency, call Triple Zero.

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