Two suspects in sexual assault case escape the country

TWO men have been charged over the sexual assault of three girls at Woolgoolga and police say two other men suspected to have been involved are thought to have returned home to India.

Detectives say the victims; a girl aged 15 and two girls aged 16, met up with the men on a local property on Thursday evening after a meeting was arranged through social media.

One of the men arrested on Monday was a 22-year-old who allegedly befriended the girls on Facebook.

A second man, aged 24, was charged with being an accessory after the fact. Police allege he drove the two other suspects, who are believed to be Indian nationals in their 20s, to Queensland so they could catch flights out of the country.

It's believed the two wanted men may have been students who recently worked on local blueberry farms.

Police have been told the girls were supplied with alcohol on the night and were later driven to Woolgoolga Beach.

Coffs Clarence crime manager Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said the assaults were violent in nature.

"The sexual assault of these girls is concerning, in particular the allegation that one of the girls was held down while she was assaulted," Insp Jameson said.

"The allegations are quite concerning for us not only due to the violent nature of the assaults, but the fact that alcohol was involved and the tender age of these girls."

Crime scenes were set up on Friday on the Woolgoolga property and in the dunes at Woolgoolga Beach. A vehicle was seized by police for forensic examination.

On Monday, Coffs Clarence investigators with Strike Force Mediata charged the 22-year-old man with the indecent assault of one girl and attempted sexual assault without consent. He was refused bail and appeared in Coffs Harbour Local Court yesterday.

The 24-year-old was charged with being an accessory after the fact and given conditional bail to appear in court on February 23.

Investigators have identified two men who have left the country.



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