Carer to face child-sex charges

A DEPARTMENT of Child Safety carer accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old autistic boy has been committed to stand trial on 10 charges.

The Hervey Bay Magistrates Court was yesterday told that the 45-year-old man cared for the boy between February and May.

During a three-hour committal hearing, the boy’s mother described a series of alleged sexual encounters between the boy and his carer.

The woman said she had voluntarily placed her two sons in Department of Child Safety (DoCS) foster care in December 2008 when her partner became seriously ill and required her full-time care.

The alleged offences were brought to the attention of police after the child and his carer were observed acting inappropriately at a Hervey Bay public swimming pool.

A professional counsellor was swimming at the centre and told the court she witnessed behaviour between the child and the man that “felt wrong”.

“It was the way I think the two interacted,” she said.

In her testimony to the court, the mother of the boy alleged her son had revealed to her that he had been promised money in exchange for performing oral sex on his carer in a public toilet.

She also alleged that the carer became violent towards her son during sexual encounters.

Backing up her allegations was evidence from the boy’s stepfather, who also said the boy had admitted a sexual relationship with the carer.

The stepfather said he became concerned about the boy’s welfare and contacted DoCS to have him placed with a different carer.

But he said he was told: “Our hands are tied, there is nowhere else we can place him.”

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