Man arrested over historical sexual abuse allegations in western Sydney boys’ home

Published: 12 March 2018 Image credit: NSW Police

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New South Wales Police have made their first arrest over claims of horrific sexual abuse at a western Sydney boys’ home, which they believe occurred between the 1960s-1980s.

A 67-year-old man was arrested in Jindalee in Queensland two weeks ago and was extradited to NSW to face 19 historical charges including indecent assault on a male and buggery.

The Jindalee man who was arrested following a formal complaint, is accused of sexually abusing multiple boys aged 12 and 13 during the 1970s at the former Daruk training school at Berkshire Park. 

The now-defunct facility was one of several throughout NSW that was used to accommodate juvenile delinquents and troubled teens.

Police say the 67-year-old who faced Penrith Local Court on March 2, was part of a larger group carrying out “horrific” crimes at the school from the 1960s through to the 1980s, and it’s understood police are considering probing whether the accused also worked at other facilities.

“The briefings I have been provided over the past 18 months indicate the experiences that these young boys had at the time were nothing short of horrific,” Detective Superintendent Brett McFadden told reporters today.

Mr McFadden said detectives are “encouraging” more victims to come forward, most of whom are believed to have been aged between 10 and 14 at the time of the alleged offences.

“This is the time for any other victims to come forward, this is the time to be heard. We recognise that some of these victims have a chequered history in their engagement with police, but we are not judging them at this time,” he said.

“Our concern is to make sure that they are heard, that they have an opportunity to have their account placed clearly on the record.”

Up to 80 victims and 25 potential persons of interest have already been identified during what Superintendent McFadden called a “meticulous investigation.”

Thousands of historical government documents have also been located and seized and police today said that more arrests were “imminent.”

Detective Superintendent McFadden said a number of victims statements had already been taken, some of which hold allegations against persons of interest who are now deceased.

Investigations into the Daruk training school began in 2016 after police received a number of complaints referred by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Strike Force Eckersley was formed by investigators from the Napean Police Area Command and are continuing with their investigations.