Ashleigh Wilson; 9/9/06; www.theaustralian.news.com.au/
A 12-year-old boy was allegedly raped repeatedly while his hands and feet were bound as part of a series of horrific sexual assaults by 10 males at a remote Top End community. Northern Territory police have accused five teenagers and five men of inflicting the abuse at the community of Maningrida, 500km east of Darwin, on seven occasions between April and August this year.
The victim, who was only 11 when the alleged attacks began, was sexually assaulted 37 times, according to police evidence presented to the Darwin Magistrates Court. “Come on, let’s f..k him,” one 13-year-old boy allegedly said to four other defendants during one incident.
In the first incident, prosecutors claim the boy was given cannabis to smoke through a pipe before being carried into a house. After being bound with black shoelaces and told to watch a pornographic DVD, he was anally raped by six of the defendants.
The alleged rapists were then replaced in the room by three teenagers, who proceeded to have sex with the boy. The youngest defendant was 12, while the oldest was 39. The shocking details of the Crown case, released to the public yesterday after an application in court by The Weekend Australian, have been described by magistrate David Loadman as the worst he has seen.
Referring to comments in May by Alice Springs prosecutor Nanette Rogers about abuse in indigenous communities, Mr Loadman said the public had a right to know about the nature of the allegations.
The 10 defendants face 48 separate charges, including sexual intercourse without consent, deprivation of liberty, indecent dealing with a child under 16 and stupefying in order to commit a crime. Mr Loadman has said some of the accused faced substantial jail terms, including life, if the charges were proven. The court has also heard the victim contracted gonorrhoea.
The men were granted bail yesterday on the condition they remain at an outstation in Arnhem Land and do not contact the victim. The teenagers have also been granted bail. The names of all defendants have been suppressed. In the second alleged assault, the boy was forced to have oral sex with one man before being raped by three others.
One witness repeatedly told the offenders to leave the victim alone, but was ignored. Another incident occurred after the victim went swimming with five of his alleged attackers. Threatening him with violence if he refused their advances, five men had sex with the boy and one of them raped him with a 20cm stick.
As the group began to walk back to Maningrida, they told the victim they wanted to have sex again. He was then raped by the five males again. On yet another occasion, the boy was taken to the beach by a 19-year-old, two 13-year-olds and one 12-year-old and given cannabis. In the water, he was told to perform oral sex on one of the defendants, who forced his head beneath the water.
The alleged victim claimed he thought he was going to drown. He then complied, diving briefly under water before being raped by the 18-year-old and the two 13-year-old boys. The case comes after Ms Rogers prompted a national debate about violence in Aboriginal communities.
The Northern Territory Government has also formed an inquiry into the sexual abuse of children at remote communities. The inquiry, headed by former director of public prosecutions Rex Wild and indigenous health advocate Pat Anderson, is due to finish its report by April.