Facebook warning from group creator

THE woman who set up a Facebook group about a series of night-time assaults in Grafton has removed herself from the group because of threatening overtones of some postings and fears for her family's safety.

The 24-year-old Grafton mother of two, who didn't want to be named, said she initially set-up the group to get the identikit of a suspect seen by as many people as possible.

However, she became frightened after replying to an email from someone critical of the group and realising that the person now had access to her personal profile.

She has photos and information about her children on the profile and was scared they could become a target of the 'night predator'.

While most of the members have just expressed concern at the assaults, some members have made violent threats against the predator, even talking about setting up a vigilante group to go and hunt the man.

The group creator said she didn't expect to get such a violent reaction from the community and was shocked at what the group had become.

“I removed myself from the site at two o'clock in the morning because I was scared for my kids,” she said.

“I thought: 'what have I done by starting the group?'”

The group - titled 'Get the bastard who's been sexually assaulting kids in Grafton, Australia'- was joined by almost 300 new members over the weekend. Yesterday the number of members was 1059.

The site was created after The Daily Examiner published an article more than a week ago detailing four incidents of attempted and sexual assaults in the same area of Grafton in the past 15 months.

There was a fifth incident in Oliver Street last week.

Detectives from the State Crime Command's Sex Crimes Sex Crimes Squad in Sydney are investigating the assaults. It has not been confirmed whether the incidents are linked, but they are all being investigated by the same task force.

A second Facebook group was established over the weekend by a member critical of the efforts Grafton Police has made to catch the predator.

This is despite repeated assurances from State Crime Command Superintendent John Kerlatec that the squad is doing all it can to find the man.

Strike Force Noreen detectives urge anyone with information about the assaults or the man in the identikit on the screen above to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Information is treated confidentially and can be given anonymously



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