Thornlie man charged with sex assault of two teens following investigation into sex party ring

Phil HickeyThe West Australian
The Thornlie man was charged with two counts of aggrevated sexual penetration without consent.
Camera IconThe Thornlie man was charged with two counts of aggrevated sexual penetration without consent. Credit: Danella Bevis/WA News

Detectives have uncovered a network of people advertising massive parties on social media at short-term rental accommodation, after two teenage girls were allegedly sexually assaulted at two separate parties recently.

Police have charged an 18-year-old Thornlie man — who is allegedly one of the party organisers — with the sexual assault of two teenagers as part of an ongoing investigation into organised parties advertised online.

Child abuse squad detectives charged the man as part of their ongoing inquiry into the sexual assaults at pre-planned parties at short-term rental accommodation houses.

It will be alleged between November last year and January this year the man sexually assaulted two 15-year-old girls.

The man has been charged with two counts of sexual penetration of a child and one count of aggravated sexual penetration without consent.

He is due to appear before the Armadale Magistrate’s Court on August 18.

At a press conference on Thursday police confirmed the girls were assaulted at two separate parties in the Cannington district.

More than 150 young people had attended some of the previously held events, which had been advertised on Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.

Police are still trying to establish whether the people behind the events were holding the parties to specifically target young girls. They are now asking any other potential victims to come forward.

Acting Sergeant Chantal Killen said it would be alleged the charged 18-year-old man was part of a number of “linked associates” who had been organising the parties.

She said the parties had been held across the Perth metropolitan area.

“The victims have come forward… to feel empowered and to show that they don’t condone this behaviour,” Acting Sgt Killen said.

Police earlier said their investigation had identified a group of people who were organising the parties using fraudulent credit cards. Other police units are investigating this facet of the inquiry.

“The parties are advertised online and target ... specific ethnic groups and attract a large number of young people,” police said in a statement issued on Thursday.

But Acting Sgt Killen said she was appealing to any young people from any ethnic group to come forward.

“Although our investigations have uncovered that it is specific ethnic groups that are being targeted by these event organisers, this kind of behaviour isn’t limited to one specific ethnic group or culture,” she said.

“So…we would encourage any victims of sexual assault of any group to come forward and speak to police.”

Anyone with any information can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a report online.

Anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse, or has information about someone being abused can contact police on 131 444.

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