Police call for calm after allegations of bestiality

BESTIALITY allegations against a Coffs Harbour businessman have sent shockwaves through the community and prompted police to call for calm.

In one of the most disturbing child abuse investigations in the regions history, a 53-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, stands accused of having sex with cows at a local dairy and encouraging a teenager to do the same.

Since detectives from the Child Abuse Squad swooped on the man at his workplace on Wednesday, the case has attracted widespread media attention and evoked a strong response from the local community.

Detective Sergeant Matt Zimmer said this morning that while he understood the allegations were of a "very serious nature", the man was entitled to have the matter determined by the court and warned emotive behaviour could jeopardise the judicial process.

He confirmed the boy was allegedly under the man's direct supervision when he was sexually assaulted on numerous occasions.

It will be alleged the man befriended the boy when he was 13 and, over the next two years, performed four sex acts with a cow and encouraged the boy to participate.

He has been charged with 21 offences including bestiality and aggravated sexual assault and remains on conditional bail until his court appearance on February 10.

A computer and a number of electronic items have been seized from his Toormina home and will be examined by forensic specialists.

Det Sgt Zimmer reminded victims of abuse that no subject was too confronting for police to investigate.

"Its never too late to come forward with allegations - no matter how sensitive they may be," Det Sgt Zimmer said

"We have specialist police officers who are trained and ready to deal with complaints in the strictest of confidence."

Anyone with information can phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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