Major breakthrough in child sex abuse investigation

The man is arrested in Brisbane

Detectives, investigating allegations of horrific, historical sex offences at a Penrith boys’ home, have made their first arrest.

Strike Force Eckersley was established by the Nepean Police Area Command in late 2016 following a series of complaints made to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Nepean detectives are primarily focusing on the alleged abuse of children at the Daruk Training School at Berkshire Park between 1965 and 1985.

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

Acting on a formal complaint, officers travelled to Brisbane and, with the assistance of Queensland detectives, arrested a 67-year-old Jindalee man on Wednesday, February 28.

He was extradited to New South Wales and faced the Penrith Local Court on Friday, March 2 on 19 historical charges including ‘indecent assault on a male’ and ‘buggery’.

The charges relate to the alleged sexual abuse of boys, aged 12 and 13, in the late 1970’s.

Meanwhile, police are appealing for any further victims to come forward.

Officers have spoken to numerous witnesses and taken statements from a large number of alleged victims, who were mostly aged between 10 and 14 at the time.

They have also located and inspected thousands of historical government documents as part of their investigation.

Officers now suspect there may be further victims, yet to come forward.

“Allegations of this nature are very sensitive, as far as victims are concerned,” Nepean Police Area Commander, Brett McFadden, said.

“We are keen to hear from anyone who was a victim of this type of abuse at the boys’ home more than 30 years ago.

“Detectives are also urging anyone who attended the boys’ home or worked there during that period to contact us.

“We are determined to get to the core of what happened at the facility but we need accounts from those who were there.”