Police make seventh arrest in boys’ home investigation

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Detectives, investigating Royal Commission claims of historic child abuse at a Sydney boys’ home have arrested and charged a former high-ranking juvenile justice officer.

The Nepean Police Area Command established Strike Force Eckersley in late 2016 to investigate the alleged sexual and physical abuse of boys at the now-closed Daruk Training School at Berkshire Park between 1965 and 1985.

The allegations were referred to New South Wales Police by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Around 9am yesterday, strike force detectives travelled to an address at Winmalee, in the Blue Mountains, where they arrested a 78-year-old man.

He has been charged with 24 offences against four boys, aged 14 and 15, between 1981 and 1983; namely 19 counts of ‘indecent assault of a male’, four counts of ‘buggery’ and one count of ‘sexual assault’.

Police allege the crimes occurred at the Cobham Juvenile Justice Centre where the man was a senior officer.

The man has been granted bail and ordered to appear in Penrith Local Court on Tuesday, March 19.

Officers also conducted a search of the man’s home and seized a series of items as exhibits.

Strike Force Eckersley so far has arrested seven men and laid around 200 charges in relation to the child sex allegations.

In addition, around 9am today, the Penrith detectives executed another search warrant on a home at Leonay.

No charges have been laid at this stage in relation to those inquiries and investigations are continuing.

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