A three-year-old boy was sexually assaulted while playing in his front yard by an itinerant on Thursday, in what’s being described as “every parent’s worst nightmare”, but the NT Police have refused to comment or provide information to the public about the heinous incident.
The NT Independent understands the boy was playing in his family’s fenced-in yard when a man approached the toddler and drew him close to the fence before the man exposed his penis and forced it into the toddler’s mouth.
It’s understood the man was arrested shortly after the crime, and that DNA tests were conducted.
Despite the disturbing incident having occurred three days ago, NT Police have not informed the public and have refused to answer questions.
On Monday, faced with increased media pressure, police issued a statement to inform the public the incident had occurred in Darwin’s northern suburb of Karama and not Palmerston.
A high-level source with knowledge of the incident told the NT Independent this particular sex crime has shaken veteran investigators.
“Yet the brass has made the call not to report it,” the source said. “This is every parent’s worst nightmare.
“They don’t want the public to know that Darwin is turning into Tennant Creek and Alice Springs.”
In 2018, a two-year-old was raped in Tennant Creek sparking national outrage that saw then-prime minister Malcolm Turnbull fly to the remote NT town and later offer financial assistance to provide better social services and boost the region’s economy.
The little girl suffered horrific injuries in the assault, requiring surgery and a blood transfusion, and also tested positive for a sexually transmitted disease.
The current condition of the three-year-old boy is unknown.
The NT Police’s media team, under the management of Rob Cross, has previously drawn criticism for withholding public information and suppressing internal issues within police that affect the public.
Mr Cross and the media unit did not respond to the NT Independent’s questions sent Sunday morning about the sexual assault. They issued a statement on Monday stating that the man has been charged but did not specify what the charges were. They also did not provide an update on the child’s condition.
Editor’s note: This story was updated to reflect that the incident took place in the northern suburbs and not Palmerston as initially reported.