Ten-year-old released from custody after being charged with Cairns sexual assault

A 10-year-old boy has been released from custody after being accused of sexually assaulting an Italian tourist in a far north Queensland holiday hotspot.

May 10, 2024, updated May 10, 2024

The juvenile has been charged with several offences after the 23-year-old woman was allegedly attacked in the Cairns CBD on Wednesday morning.

The woman was allegedly sexually assaulted by the 10-year-old in the city centre before being set upon by a group of juveniles when she called police.

“It would’ve been a frightening situation for her,” Detective Inspector Kevin Goan told reporters on Thursday.

“It’s not very common at all. I can’t think of another instance where a young boy has committed this type of offence.”

Police said the woman was “going about her business” and walking past the boy in the Cairns CBD when he allegedly sexually assaulted her.

The woman called police but she was allegedly attacked, with the 10-year-old and a number of other juveniles accused of punching her and throwing objects.

The woman suffered bruises and scratches to her head and face.

“No doubt a traumatic experience for the young lady,” Det Insp Goan said.

“The young age of the offenders is abhorrent. People are entitled to go about their business in our community.”

Officers responded to a report of an assault on the corner of Lake and Spence streets after 10am, police said.

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The boy – who is known to police – was arrested within four minutes.

He was charged with sexual assault, common assault and assault occasioning bodily harm whilst in company.

“It does sound like a very disturbing story,” Queensland Premier Steven Miles told reporters on Thursday.

“I understand the police have acted swiftly and apprehended the alleged offender.”

The 10-year-old was later released from custody to his home after being dealt with under the youth justice act.

A girl described as “one of the other main offenders” in the incident has also been dealt with and released.

“I can tell you there are still three other people we are yet to deal with under the juvenile justice act,” Det Insp Goan said.

He said the Italian tourist was now “doing okay”.

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