Police charge man over historical sexual assaults of teenage girl in Bathurst area

Unsolved Homicide detectives have charged a man over alleged sexual assaults, which were uncovered during inquiries into the suspected 1997 murder of Bathurst teenager, Jessica Small.

Jessica Small, aged 15, was abducted by an unknown man in the early hours of Sunday 26 October 1997 from Eglington, near Bathurst. She has not been seen or heard from since and a 2014 Coronial Inquest found that she had been murdered.

Detectives from the Homicide Squad’s Unsolved Homicide Unit are continuing to re-investigate the circumstances surrounding Jessica’s abduction and suspected murder under Strike Force Carica II.

As part of their inquiries, strike force investigators received reports a teenage girl had been sexually assaulted by a man known to her in the Bathurst area in the mid-90s.

Following extensive investigations, a 43-year-old man was arrested at Newcastle Police Station earlier today (Tuesday 10 March 2020).

He was subsequently charged with two counts of sexual intercourse without consent.

Police will allege in court that the man sexually assaulted the girl, who was known to him, in 1994 and 1996, when she was aged 17 and 19.

The Bruinbun man was refused bail to appear at Newcastle Local Court today.

Investigations under Strike Force Carica II are ongoing.

A $1 million NSW Government reward remains in place for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person/s responsible for Jessica’s disappearance and murder.

Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Carica II investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.

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