Couple charged with assaulting four teenagers

PARENTS are being urged to talk to their children about their online safety following a North Coast an alleged case of internet child grooming and assault case.

Detectives from State Crime Command's Child Abuse Squad charged a young couple with child grooming and assault offences relating to incidents involving four girls aged between 13 and 15.

The 20-year-old man and 19-year-old woman were arrested on the NSW North Coast earlier this week.

Police will allege the four girls were known to the couple.

Police are unable to release further details about where the events happened or what court is due to hear it, to protect the identity of the victims.

Police have been told the girls were groomed via text message and social media, and that two of the girls were indecently assaulted while staying at the home.

Further, another girl was supplied with alcohol at the home and sexually assaulted.

The 20-year-old man was charged with nine counts of aggravated indecent assault; use intoxicating substance; aggravated sexual assault; and two counts of grooming.

The 19-year-old woman was charged with three counts of grooming; accessory before the fact to aggravated sexual assault; and use intoxicating substance.

Both appeared at a North Coast court yesterday and remain in custody to reappear at a future date.

The incident has prompted Child Abuse Squad detectives to urge parents to talk to their teenage children about their safety, both online and offline.

That includes encouraging their children to tell them if they are sent inappropriate messages or are made to feel uncomfortable.

Police urge parents to know where their children are and who they are with at all times.

The Child Abuse Squad is comprised of detectives who are specially trained to investigate crimes against children, including sexual assault, physical and emotional abuse and serious cases of neglect.

The squad works in partnership with the Department of Family and Community Services and NSW Health, with specialised tri-agency teams based at metropolitan and regional locations throughout NSW.



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