Sadistic ‘blood rituals’ alleged at circus
Four members of a Western Sydney circus training school have been charged over the alleged sadistic sexual and physical abuse of three young boys under the age of eight.
Three women and a man will face 69 charges relating to the alleged ongoing abuse of the boys, who were known to them, between 2014 and 2016 in the Blue Mountains.
Police will allege the abuse by some members of the group included sadistic "blood rituals", The Daily Telegraph reports.
Police allege they were connected to a circus business based in Katoomba, about 100km west of Sydney's CBD, according to the Telegraph.
The circus training school offers all ages classes in juggling, aerial skills, acrobatics and unicycle riding and describes itself online as "a family friendly environment".
Detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad established Strike Force Baillieu in July last year to investigate the reports.
As a result of these extensive investigations, police made a series of arrests at Sydney homes in Katoomba, Canterbury, and Wentworthville on Monday.
The circus group promotes itself as an "all abilities community circus".
It boasted online of its programs for a wide range of young people - and offering "one on one" tuition.
"The class sizes are smaller than usual so one on one training can still be provided to every student throughout the lesson. All students are treated as equals and every student will feel welcome from their first day."
Three women and a man were represented yesterday by their lawyer who entered not guilty pleas to all 69 charges levelled at the four in Penrith Local Court.
- A 26-year-old Katoomba woman was charged with 13 offences, including aggravated sex assault in company, and detain for advantage. She was refused bail to appear at Penrith Local Court today.
- A 29-year Canterbury woman was charged with five counts of aggravated sexual assault in company deprive liberty, and three counts of common assault. She was refused bail to appear at Burwood Local Court today.
- A 52-year-old Katoomba man was charged three counts of aggravated sexual assault in company (child under 10), make child abuse material, and use child under 14 to make child abuse material. He was refused bail to appear at Penrith Local Court today.
- A 58-year-old Katoomba woman was charged with 43 offences, including aggravated sexual assault of a child under 10, have sexual intercourse with a child under 10, and aggravated kidnapping. She was refused bail to appear at Penrith Local Court today.
Calls to the circus went unanswered yesterday. Investigations under Strike Force Baillieu are continuing.