Members of notorious Colt family accused of horrific sex abuse against 12 inbred children have 48 rape charges against them DROPPED on eve of blockbuster trial
- Male members of infamous Colt family have child rape charges dropped
- Around 40 members of the family were found living in squalor on farm in 2012
- Children had speech difficulties, bad hygiene and slept in tents on property
- The children later spoke of alleged sexual abuse by family members
- Three male family members will face court on Wednesday as trial begins
Prosecutors have dropped a series of child rape charges against male members of the infamous Colt family just as the men were due to face trial.
Twenty charges on a joint indictment were withdrawn on Tuesday related to four incidents allegedly committed by Frank, Charlie and Cliff Colt (all pseudonyms).
The Sydney District Court is expected to decide on Wednesday how the remaining allegations of child rape against the men will proceed in judge-alone trials.
Police discovered that the Colt family – a pseudonym given to the family by the court – were living together in filth inside a camp in rural New South Wales
About 40 members of the clan were discovered living in squalor on a rural property near Yass in 2012, with stories of suspected historic and ongoing child abuse making international headlines.
The children had speech difficulties, bad hygiene, slept in tents and later spoke of alleged sexual abuse by family members.
The NSW Children’s Court placed 12 children found at the farm in state care in 2013 after hearing about deficient living conditions, neglect and uncontradicted genetic evidence that only one child had parents who weren’t related to each other.
After a six-year investigation, police in 2018 arrested the Colt men in NSW and Western Australia and charged them with multiple instances of sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 10 and other offences.
Back-up charges to each child rape alleged indecent assault.
Sydney District Court Judge Gina O’Rourke formally dismissed 20 charges including nine allegations of child rape against Charlie Colt.
Cliff and Frank Colt had 16 and 12 charges dismissed respectively.
Charlie Colt still faces six charges; sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 10, sexual intercourse with a child aged between 10 and 14, three counts of indecent assault against a child and one count of indecent assault.
Frank faces two allegations of raping a child under 10, one of raping a child aged 10 to 14 and another of raping a person older than 16.
He’s also accused of indecently assaulting a child.
Cliff no longer faces any charges related to raping a child under 10 but is still accused of sex with a person aged 10 to 14, two counts of indecently assaulting a child and one count of indecent assault.
Each returns to court on Wednesday.
Prosecutors have dropped a series of child rape charges against male members of the infamous Colt family just as the men were due to face trial