A FOSTER father may have been sexually abusing a teenage girl in his care for more than a year before a tip-off from the public resulted in police laying six charges, court documents revealed.
The 65-year-old, from a Newcastle suburb, chose to remain in the Newcastle Courthouse cells yesterday after he was arrested on Thursday and charged with aggravated sexual assault and aggravated indecent assault.
He is accused of having sexual intercourse with the girl on five occasions between October last year and September this year, and indecently assaulting her on September 16 while showering with her.
The accused did not enter pleas and the case was adjourned to January.
Officers from the child abuse squad arrested the man after a woman reported that a friend of her daughter was being abused.
The alleged victim was removed from her foster home immediately.
Acting commander of the child abuse squad, Detective acting Superintendent Anthony Holton, commended the friend's mother for reporting the allegation quickly.
He said victims of child abuse were often reluctant to report the incidents to police.
"The reasons for children not reporting abuse are numerous," Superintendent Holton said. "Some children are scared they won't be believed or will get into trouble, whilst others are psychologically manipulated by the offender.
"In some cases the children are so young that they don't even know they are being abused. That's why we rely . . . on members of the public."