An investigation has been launched to track down a middle-aged man who allegedly performed a “sex act” while prowling outside a childcare centre in Balmain in Sydney’s inner west.
The disturbing incident is reported to have taken place just before 1:15pm on Tuesday 17 August 2021 at the childcare centre on Thames Street, leaving parents and staff sickened.
According to NSW Police, a passer-by informed officers of the event after witnessing an unknown man perform the sexual act.
When the member of the public approached the man, he promptly took off from the scene.
Officers from Leichhardt Police Area Command attended and carried out extensive patrols of the area.
Despite their efforts, the man could not be located.
Now, NSW Police have released images of a man who may be able to assist with their ongoing investigations after he was captures on surveillance footage near the childcare centre.
The man depicted in the images is described as being of Caucasian appearance and aged in his 40s or 50s.
He is around 185cm tall, of medium build and has brown, thinning hair.
In the images, the man can be seen wearing a dark jacket, blue denim jeans and sneakers.
NSW Police are urging members of the community who may have any information about the identity of the man in the images, or the alleged incident, to contact police immediately.
Community in Shock as NSW Police Informs of Alleged Offender on the Loose But Praises Officers for Doing “Actual Police Work Rather than Search Through Poo For Covid”
The worrying incident has sent shockwaves through the community, with many expressing both disgust and disbelief over the man’s alleged sex act.
In a post shared online by NSW Police Force, online users unanimously shared this view.
“I can’t believe people like this walk around amongst us. So scary,” one user wrote.
“I hope he is caught before he has a chance to do it again. Shared!” another voiced, which reverberated as others commented the man is a “sick person”.
One user simply pointed out how “mortified” they would be if they happened to know the man.
Meanwhile, others advocated that such crimes are where the police should, in fact, be focusing their efforts – a sentiment arriving as the NSW community face tough restrictions and policing under the current COVID-19 lockdown.
“That’s more like it, going after ACTUAL criminals, instead of innocent people just trying to get by,” one woman insisted.
“Good to see you guys going after some criminals for a change. Get him!” another echoed.
This sentiment was reinforced once again as another person offered perspective, “Great to see you guys still do actual police work rather than search through poo for Covid”.
The investigation continues.
Sex Act Offences if Child is Between 10 and 16 Years of Age
In NSW, as per section 66DD of the Crimes Act 1900, it is a criminal offence to carry out a sexual act with or towards a child who is of or above the age of 10 years and under the age of 16 years.
Anyone who commits an offence of this kind can face a maximum penalty of up to two years in jail and a criminal record.
According to section 66DD, it is also an offence to incite a child within this age bracket to carry out a sexual act with or towards the person (alleged offender), or to incite the child to carry out a sexual act with or towards another person, orto incite another person to carry out a sexual act with or towards a child within this age bracket.
All of the aforementioned offences also carry a maximum penalty of two years in jail.
It should be noted that where the victim is aged under 10 years, as per section 66DC of the Crimes Act 1900, the maximum penalty a person can face for any such offence increases to seven years in jail.
A “sexual act” is understood as behaviour that a reasonable person would consider to be sexual.
Questions? speak to a criminal lawyers in Sydney today.