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Man faces theme park child rape charges

The Courier-Mail, Australia
Mar. 11, 2004 • Wednesday March 10, 2004

A devout Jehovah’s Witness and family man raped two children and assaulted five others in a lagoon at a Gold Coast theme park, a court was told yesterday.

The man, a 33-year-old father-of-two from Beenleigh, allegedly inserted his finger in the anus of a nine-year-old boy and the vagina of the boy’s seven-year-old sister at Dreamworld.

Police allege the attack happened on December 14 last year in the Blue Lagoon water park pool during a game of “shark”, in which children are grabbed from behind and pulled underwater. The man’s two children, aged 10 and 8, were playing in the pool at the time of the alleged assaults.

The man faced Southport Magistrate’s Court yesterday for the first time charged with two counts of rape, two of indecent assault on a child under 16, five of common assault and one count of possessing a drug utensil.

Details of the alleged attack emerged during a bail application when the man’s lawyer, Michael Gatenby, said his client denied the charges.

Mr Gatenby told the court his client had been married for 12 years and was heavily involved in the church.

The defendant’s wife and mother were in the court to support him and his sister was willing to put up a $10,000 cash surety, Mr Gatenby said.

The court heard the man visited Dreamworld up to 20 times last year.

Magistrate Michael O’Driscoll ruled that the man was an unacceptable risk of re-offending and remanded him in custody until June 2 for a committal hearing mention.

Outside court, Mr Gatenby said he intended to file a Supreme Court bail application today.

Meanwhile, a Victorian man is expected to face Southport Magistrate’s Court today charged with child rape and other sex offences that allegedly took place in south-east Queensland in the mid-1980s.

The retired builder, 60, allegedly molested his stepchildren and their friends.

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