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Toddler raped by father figure could return to same home

A two-year-old girl who was allegedly raped by a 24-year-old ‘father figure’ is still with the same carers and may be returned to the house where the abuse occurred. 

The toddler from Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory was flown to the Alice Springs Hospital on Friday before being rushed to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide, where she was placed in an induced coma because of the severity of her injuries.

A 24-year-old man has since been arrested and charged with sexual assault and was denied bail when he appeared in court on Monday.

The girl has been released from hospital and is in the care of her mother. Her parents are understood to have troubled pasts, and are known to be heavy consumers of alcohol. 

Minister for Territory Families Dale Wakefield told The Australian ‘the system has failed this child’. 

A two-year-old girl (pictured) who was allegedly raped by a 24-year-old man is still with the same carers and may be returned to the house where the abuse occurred

Child protection services and police were repeatedly asked to look into the wellbeing of a Northern Territory toddler who was allegedly raped last week, family and friends have claimed (pictured is Tennant Creek)

Child protection services and police were repeatedly asked to look into the wellbeing of a Northern Territory toddler who was allegedly raped last week, family and friends have claimed (pictured is Tennant Creek)

‘We have been working with the mum. There have been notifications to the department before around other issues, but none of them has related to sexual violence… we will continue to work with the mum, and we are making sure that we’ve got the right things in place to support the family.’

Relatives of the child said they believed she was at risk to be harmed almost from birth. 

NT Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw  said the girl had been released from hospital into the care of her family.

He said specialist sexual assault police officers would be a ‘liaison point’ for the family who were looking after the little girl.

Acting NT Chief Minister Nicole Manison said the Government accepted responsibility for the ‘absolutely horrendous’ alleged assault.

‘We have failed this child. We have failed this child and we need to do more.’

A man who said he has been ‘like a dad’ to the young girl told The Australian child protection services and police were alerted to the toddler’s well-being by multiple people close to her.

He said the two-year-old’s alleged assault was indicative of the issues plaguing Tennant Creek. 

‘It’s a forgotten town running rampant with violence,’ the relative said.

The two-year-old girl from Tennant Creek was flown to the Alice Springs Hospital (pictured) on Friday

The two-year-old girl from Tennant Creek was flown to the Alice Springs Hospital (pictured) on Friday

‘Someone has got to be held accountable for this little girl. How many [child protection] notifications do you have to put in before Territory Families does something?’

Area locals said the girl lives in ‘The Bronx’ of Tennant Creek and said both of her parents are alcoholics and had run-ins with the law.

A source told NT News a party was hosted at the young girl’s home before the alleged incident.

‘It’s understood a party, with alcohol involved, was at the house preceding the incident,’ the source said. 

‘A man died in the house several weeks before.’ 

The two-year-old girl (stock) was later transported to the Women's and Children's Hospital in Adelaide because of the severity of her injuries

The two-year-old girl (stock) was later transported to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide because of the severity of her injuries

CEO of Manungurra Aboriginal Corporation Graeme Smith told the publication he and his wife lived near the family and often heard the girl’s parents argue over her.

‘Sometimes we would ring the cops but other times we would just say, ‘What’s the point?’ This kid should not have been allowed to get to this stage’,’ he said.

Police said there were no other suspects in relation to the girl’s alleged sexual assault.

On Thursday, the day the toddler was allegedly assaulted, local police officers were called to attended 58 incidents in the town between 3pm and 6am on Friday, according to the ABC.

A 44-year-old Tennant Creek man died last week after he was allegedly assaulted by a 41-year-old man. 

The increase in crime has prompted the Acting Chief Minister Nicole Manison, Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw and Minister for Territory Families Dale Wakefield to meet in the town on Friday. 

‘Repeated trauma has scarred our communities for decades. Too many Territorians have lived this nightmare for too long,’ Chief Minister of the Northern Territory told the ABC. 

Police said there were no other suspects in relation to the girl's alleged sexual assault (pictured is the Tennant Creek police station)

Police said there were no other suspects in relation to the girl’s alleged sexual assault (pictured is the Tennant Creek police station)

 

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