9 May 2022

'Rape' and 'girl' search terms give 'distinct window' into alleged child strangler's thoughts

| Claire Fenwicke
Anthony James Kenyon was denied bail for a second time at ACT Magistrates Court on 9 May. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Anthony James Kenyon was denied bail for a second time at ACT Magistrates Court on 9 May. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

A man accused of strangling an 11-year-old girl unconscious as she rode home from school in Fadden has been hit with a fresh charge, as he applied for bail for a second time in ACT Magistrates Court today (9 May).

Anthony James Kenyon faced a new allegation of assaulting the young girl with the intent to have sexual intercourse on 2 February 2022, or sexual assault in the third degree.

Mr Kenyon’s barrister Travis Jackson indicated his client would plead not guilty to this new charge.

A police informant for the matter gave evidence, during which she said police had been called to Gordon in 2017 over reports a man had put his hands into a child’s pocket.

She said the child alleged Mr Kenyon was behind the attack and he was arrested, but there was insufficient evidence to proceed with that case against him.

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Additionally, a new statement of facts tendered in court said a laptop was found in his mother’s living room, where Mr Kenyon had been sleeping, that had allegedly accessed a website used to share erotic pictures and pornographic videos.

The search terms ‘sissy’, ‘jb [police believe refers to ‘jailbait’]’, ‘little’, ‘girl’, ‘young’, ‘rape’, ‘rap’, ‘force’, ‘sleep’ and ‘sneak’ had been entered on this site in the weeks leading up to the alleged incident.

The term ‘felony murder’ had also been searched on Google.

Mr Jackson launched a second bail application today (9 May), arguing the prosecution did not have a strong case and that his client should be allowed to reside with his father near Crookwell.

“His ability to use the internet [at the home] is questionable,” he said.

“It’s accepted these are serious charges, but he has strong connections to the region … there are no issues of flight, this is his first time in custody.”

However, prosecutor Katie McCann argued the allegations against Mr Kenyon were “extremely serious”.

“He allegedly attacked, quite brazenly, an 11-year-old on her way home from school,” she said.

“It was in broad daylight during after-school hours on a public path … he only stopped after a witness was walking along the path.”

Ms McCann also said the search terms gave a “distinct window” into Mr Kenyon’s mind in the lead up to the alleged attack.

“There is no legitimate reason why the defendant was searching terms such as these,” she said.

She also argued the terms were searched while Mr Kenyon lived with his mother, and so living with his father would not make “any difference” to preventing any possible further offending.

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Magistrate Louise Taylor ultimately denied bail, alleging the evidence pointed to a “strong desire” on behalf of the defendant to offend.

“This [the complainant] is not a toddler, this is a young woman who, in my view, was able to see the person who attacked her,” she alleged.

“There was strong identification of the defendant within moments of the attack.

“The conduct itself is predatory, brazen in my view, it only came to an end when a witness came along.

“One wonders what [bail] conditions could possibly be put in place to stop that type of disturbing motivation.”

Mr Kenyon is scheduled to reappear in court on 19 May.

He was previously charged with common assault and choke a person and render insensible.

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