Man charged with historic sex offences released in Cairns

 

A MAN charged with a string of alleged historic sex offences has been released back into the community after being granted bail in a Cairns court.

The former Townsville man, who has been living in the Northern Territory for the past 23 years, was flown to Cairns on Friday after his alleged victim came forward and reported him to police.

The man is alleged to have sexually assaulted a teenage girl multiple times over a few months in 1994.

The alleged victim was 14-years-old at the time.

Now 41, the woman made a complaint to police about the alleged incidents and the issue was forwarded on to Townsville Child Protection and Investigation Unit for investigations.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the woman, appeared in the Cairns Magistrates Court heard this morning.

Lawyer Stephanie Williams told the court the man cared for his wife who has chronic illnesses and she was "willing to put up a $10,000 assurance … in respect of his bail application".

"That shows an intention by him and his wife to attend as required," she said.

"Until he was arrested, he had no contact from police and had he been asked to attend in person in this jurisdiction of his own volition, he would have.

"It wasn't the case that he was refusing to leave the Northern Territory."

Police prosecutor Megan Howard said while "there is no suggestion he has been avoiding police" she opposed bail due to the risk of him not reappearing.

"(The charges are) I accept dated, but very serious charges, and a significant period of imprisonment certainly hangs over his head," she said.

"There is that motivation not to come … and travel is limited nonetheless."

Ms Howard also told the court the reason the man's matter came before a Cairns court was due to "lack of flights to Townsville".

"He would have had to sit in the Northern Territory prison for six days before returning to Townsville," she said.

"So the detectives made the call to bring him here."

Magistrate Sandra Pearson ordered that the man must surrender his passport to police within five days of his release must report to his local police station weekly.

"The case itself, on the face of it, appears to be based on the complaint only," she said.

The matter has been transferred to Townsville and will next come before the court on September 28.

The man is facing six counts of indecent treatment of a child, one count of unlawful carnal knowledge, one count of taking a child for an immoral purpose and maintaining a sexual relationship with a child.

Originally published as Man charged with historic sex offences released in Cairns


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