Police arrested the alleged teenage rapist early on Friday morning. Photo: Queensland Police Service
Police arrested the alleged teenage rapist early on Friday morning. Photo: Queensland Police Service

Teen on rape charge was on bail despite ‘high risk’ status

A TEENAGER accused of breaking into an Edmonton woman's home and raping her had been flagged as a high risk by two government departments before being given bail a month earlier.

The 17-year-old was bailed to live in Cairns in January after facing charges in Cooktown, including assault with intent to commit rape, sexual assault and burglary.

He was banned from returning to Cooktown as part of his bail.

The Cairns Post now understands both the police and staff within the Department of Child Safety had deemed him a high risk of reoffending, particularly sexual offences, prior to his release.

Last week's incident has left community leaders and police devastated and fuming, with LNP leader Deb Frecklington slamming Labor's changes to the Juvenile Justice Act.

It was also revealed last week the boy was part of the bail hub program Operation Regenerate, which involves police on paid overtime taking youths on recreational outings.

The Cairns Post understood he was meant to be participating in the program on Thursday night, but failed to turn up, then allegedly committed the offences early the following morning. The operation was part of a $9.4 million State Government plan to lower the number of children remanded in custody.

The woman, aged over 50, who was attacked, was treated at Cairns Hospital and is being provided support. The teenager, who cannot be named, was taken into custody naked a short distance from where the alleged assault occurred.

He has been charged with rape and common assault and appeared briefly in the Cairns Children's Court on Friday before the case was adjourned until May.



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