Additional charges laid as investigations into 1987 murder at Porters Retreat continue

Homicide Squad detectives have laid additional charges as part of ongoing investigations into the activities of an alleged cult and murder of a two-year-old girl near Oberon in 1987.

In October 2019, detectives from the Homicide Squad’s Unsolved Homicide Unit established Strike Force Bertrand after receiving reports a child was allegedly fatally assaulted by a woman known to her, in or around July 1987, at a rural property at Porters Retreat.

The woman was then allegedly assisted by a man in disposing of the child’s remains.

As part of ongoing investigations, detectives applied for and were granted an arrest warrant for a 59-year-old woman residing in New Zealand last November (2021).

She was subsequently arrested at a home at Palmerston North City, by New Zealand Police, pursuant to the Australian arrest warrant. Simultaneously, detectives executed a crime scene warrant at a rural property at Porters Retreat – about 42km south of Oberon.

A 70-year-old man was arrested at that address and taken to Bathurst Police Station, where he was charged over his alleged role in the murder. He remains before the courts.

Since that time, the woman – now aged 60 – has been escorted back to Australia by NSW detectives and charged. She also remains before the courts.

Following extensive further inquiries, the man – now aged 71 – attended Bathurst Police Station about 12pm today (Thursday 29 September 2022).

Investigators have since charged him with an additional 11 offences, including two counts of aggravated indecent assault- victim under the age of 16 years, common assault, aggravated sex assault- victim under the age of 16 years, two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, aggravated sex assault- victim under authority of offender, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, two counts of sexual assault (Cat 3) knowing no consent given, and homosexual intercourse with male above 10 and less than18 years.

It’s alleged the man sexually and physically assaulted four people – including a boy and girl aged 14 and 16-years-old, and two women aged between 20 and 33, on numerous occasions between 1987 and 2000.

The Porters Retreat man was granted conditional bail to appear at Bathurst Local Court on Wednesday 12 October 2022.

Investigations under Strike Force Bertrand continue.

Anyone with information for Strike Force Bertrand investigators, including former members of Ministry Of God at Porters Retreat, are urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

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