- Teenager was allegedly dragged into bushes and raped
- Police have charged a man, 34, with sexual assault
Police have charged a 34-year-old man with sexual assault after a teenage girl was allegedly dragged into bushes and brutally raped at an idyllic beachside town on Friday night.
The accused man is believed to be a seasonal fruit picker who was in Australia working on a NSW mid north coast berry farm and living in beachfront accommodation with fellow workers.
The 17-year-old girl was walking home near Arrawarra Beach north of Coffs Harbour about 7.30pm when she was confronted by a man and allegedly sexually assaulted.
Police arrested a man at the camping ground and accommodation area at Arrawarra about 5pm on Sunday.
Police have charged a 34-year-old man with sexual assault after a 17-year-old girl was dragged into bushes and allegedly brutally raped last Friday night
Little Arrawarra on the NSW Mid North Coast was the site of an alleged brutal rape of a teenager who was attacked on Friday night and dragged into bushes
Officers from the NSW Police Coffs Harbour-Clarence district attended a site where hundreds of seasonal workers from a nearby berry farm are currently living.
The man was taken to Coffs Harbour Police station where he was later charged, refused bail and remanded in custody to appear in court next year.
The incident follows another a week ago when a young woman allegedly hid inside a toilet cubicle after being pursued by a man she believed was affected by alcohol.
Locals told Daily Mail Australia that up to 400 pickers are accommodated at a holiday park and bussed to a nearby farm daily.
The Arrawarra village is a destination for surfers, caravanners, backpackers and visitors to its waterfront location.
Rubbish has been dumped around Arrawarra, concerning some local residents
Locals complained earlier this year that fruit pickers had turning the coastal paradise into a ‘shanty town’.
Some locals have complained that there have been episodes of drunkenness and aggression by the workers and that rubbish is left strewn on the beach and in local waterways.
The beach strip is regarded as a gem hidden among the more populous townships of the area, boasting a laid-back vibe, kangaroos hopping along the beach and pristine surf.
The influx by hundreds of berry pickers over the past few years has left some residents – whose local population is only between 50 and 100 people – concerned their slice of paradise is being destroyed.
The provider of the worker accommodation earlier this year blasted the criticism as ‘lies and fabrication’ and accused locals of being prejudiced against Pacific Islanders, who make up the bulk of the fruit pickers.
Earlier this year, a concerned local filmed seasonal workers engaged in an allegedly drunken fight (above) on the beach at Arrawarra