A KELSO man facing 16 charges of alleged historic child sexual abuse will remain in custody until January when his case will return to court.
The 22-year-old, who cannot be named, made a release application before magistrate Bruce Williams on Wednesday morning.
He had been arrested at a Bathurst home on Wednesday morning following an 11-month investigation launched by the State Crime Command's Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad in December 2019.
The man was charged by police with five counts of aggravated sexual assault of a victim under the age of 16; three counts of intentionally sexually touching a child aged between 10 and 16; three counts of indecently assaulting person aged under 16; two counts of assault with intent to have sexual intercourse with child under 10 years of age; two counts of intentionally inciting a child aged between 10 and 16 to do sexual act to them; and attempting sexual intercourse with a child aged between 10 and 14.
His solicitor, Ms Pascal, conceded the allegations were "very serious" but raised concerns over the impact of incarceration on her client.
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She said he had never spent more than one night in custody and had self identified as having mental health issues.
Given the nature of the charges against her client, Ms Pascal said it was likely the case would be a lengthy one and, if bail was refused, he would remain in custody for some time.
Ms Pascal said referees spoke highly of her client as both a father and an employee and said her client was still actively seeking work.
She asked the court to grant him bail with strict conditions to mitigate any risk to the community.
"He is not someone with an overly violent record and there is no record of like offences," she said.
Ms Pascal said her client could reside at an address in Kelso and the court could impose conditions prohibiting him from approaching the complainant or prosecution witnesses.
"He can report daily if needed."
Police prosecutor Aaron Burgess opposed the release application, saying the primary concerns were the protection of the victim and preventing potential interference with witnesses.
In refusing bail, Mr Williams noted the allegations spanned a period of four years from 2015-2019 and related to a single victim.
The charges were all effectively of a sexual nature, he said, and while they were only allegations at this stage they were serious and concerning.
Mr Williams said there was no material before him regarding a diagnosis of mental health problems but it was not uncommon for people coming before a court to have mental health conditions and he would take that into account.
He noted the accused's criminal record included driving matters and matters of violence including convictions for affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and that the accused had a record of failing to comply with conditions.
Mr Williams said if the allegations were proven, there were a number of alarming features about them.
"Firstly they were committed over a long period of time," he said.
"... The other worrying feature relates to the alleged offences themselves which show a deep and concerning escalation."
Mr Williams said if the allegations were proven then that escalation was a concern because there was nothing to suggest the accused's behaviour had been modified and there was an unacceptable risk of further offences..
He was refused bail, with the matter due back before the court on January 11.
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