Twist in 2yo rape case
CHARGES against a man accused of the sexual assault of a two-year-old girl in the Northern Territory have been dropped.
NT police say their investigation has identified new information which led to the arrest of another man and the withdrawal of charges against the 24-year-old.
A 25-year-old man faced Alice Springs Court on Monday charged with sexual intercourse without consent and was remanded in custody.
"The 24-year-old has now been released from custody," NT police said in a statement on Thursday.
Sex crime detectives are continuing to investigate an incident in Tennant Creek in February, which resulted in a two-year-old girl being transferred to Alice Springs and then the Adelaide Women's and Children's Hospital for surgery and a blood transfusion.
The child tested positive for a sexually transmitted disease and was provided with post-exposure HIV medication.
After the girl's horrific sexual assault, an independent report was done by the NT Children's Commissioner Colleen Gwynne, which found she had suffered "significant and painful" injuries from the rape.
The report found there had been 35 domestic violence incidents recorded against the parents, including eight aggravated assault convictions for one of them, and more than 150 recorded interactions with police.
The girl and her four siblings had been the subject of 16 years of investigations into physical and sexual abuse and neglect, in the lead-up to the alleged rape.
It found police "had also conducted investigations in relation to sexual and physical abuse upon her siblings" prior to the alleged sexual assault.
"Prior to the birth of C1 [the child], Territory Families had available to it an abundance of evidence relating to the substantial neglect and numerous harms suffered by all of her older siblings," the report read.
"This included the fact that they themselves sought safety and regularly self-placed with different extended family to avoid return to the care of P1 [a parent].
"All possible harm types have been identified for these children", including exposure to domestic violence and parental substance abuse, lack of education, neglect, emotional harm, physical harm and sexual abuse."
The 25-year-old will face court on July 26.