Wentworthville ‘spiritual healer’ faces sex assault charges

A 49-year-old man who allegedly offered ‘‘spiritual healing’’ at a premises in Wentworthville was expected to face Kogarah Local Court on charges of sexual assault and indecent assault following his arrest in the early hours of this morning (Monday, April 14).

Inspector Michael Haddow of the Sex Crimes Squad said the man, who was arrested in the Bexley North area, operated from a property in Station Street, Wentworthville from 2000 to 2002.

The arrest followed investigations by Strikeforce Yorkfield, set up in January after a woman alleged she had been assaulted by the man in 2002.

‘‘The victim was 27 at the time,’’ Inspector Haddow said.

‘‘She had responded to an advertisement by the man who claimed he was a spiritual healer using astrology and black magic.

‘‘It was during one of these sessions that the assault allegedly happened.’’

He said investigations were continuing and appealed to anyone else who may have been a victim or who knew anything about the man’s operation to contact police.

He said counsellors were also working to help the woman who had come forward.

‘‘It’s very concerning and very disturbing if a person seeking help from a spiritual leader is subject to assault,’’ Inspector Haddow said.

He advised anyone answering such advertisements from people they knew little about to investigate further or perhaps take a friend with them to sessions.

Anyone with any information about this case can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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