POLICE are refusing to rule out the possibility that a paedophile ring is behind fresh allegations of historic sex abuse in Junee.
It comes as investigators reveal several alleged victims have committed suicide, purportedly as a consequence of the trauma they went through.
On Tuesday, Wagga Local Area Command police seized evidence, including photographs, during an early-morning raid on the home of a former Junee and Coolamon high school teacher.
The man was charged in September with three offences relating to alleged sexual assaults of a student over a five-year period.
“A number of items were seized relating to his alleged activity,” said Wagga crime manager, Detective Inspector Darren Cloake.
The 81-year-old former teacher is alleged to have sexually assaulted a Junee High School male student from the age of 12 between 1966 and 1971.
The former industrial arts teacher was charged and released on bail on September 13, the same day Superintendent Bob Noble made a public plea for anyone with information about the former teacher to come forward.
Since the appeal, Detective Inspector Cloake confirmed police now had evidence of up to 12 alleged male victims, some who were aged as young as 11 when the offences were alleged to have occurred.
Several of his alleged victims are unable to give evidence after suffering dire consequences because of the abuse they were alleged to have gone through, he said.
“The nature of the investigation has revealed that a number of his alleged victims have moved away,” Detective Inspector Cloake said.
“We do know that a number of his suspected victims have committed suicide.”
Police have renewed calls for anyone with information about the accused man to come forward, emphasising that support could be arranged for anyone who may be still suffering the consequence of sexual abuse.
Of particular interest is anyone the former teacher may have associated with and could be involved in the alleged crimes, Inspector Detective Cloake said.
“We are not discounting that theory at this stage,” he said.
The man will appear in Wagga Local Court on Wednesday.
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