Alleged ‘predatory’ child sex pest charged with grooming, supplying alcohol

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A young man has been released on bail after allegedly committing ‘disturbing predatory’ offenses against six underage girls, including supplying two girls with alcohol before sexually assaulting them.

Drew Singleton, 20, appeared in the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday to make a bail offer after being charged with 19 offenses of a “sexually predatory nature”, including having sex with children, preparing children for sex and using a transportation service to procure a child for sexual activity.

Police allege the Southern Highlands resident used a transport service to groom a 14-year-old girl for illegal sexual activity between August 2021 and January 2022.

Mr Singleton then met the girl in person and had illegal sex with her on three occasions during the five-month period, according to police. He also allegedly touched her sexually during this time.

Supreme Court stock
Camera iconDrew Singleton applied for bail in the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday. NCA NewsWire/Bianca De Marchi Credit: News Corp Australia

Police allege the 20-year-old illegally supplied alcohol to two underage teenagers between January 15 and 16. He got the 14-year-old girls drunk and then performed sexual acts on them, police allege.

The court heard that Mr Singleton was accused of grooming two underage girls and using a transport service to procure two others for sex in the months leading up to February.

After using a transportation service to treat a minor, he allegedly had sex with her and performed aggravated sexual acts on her.

The court heard one of the underage girls say she had been given a substance on one occasion which caused her to lose her memory of the night, but there was ‘evidence to suggest sexual activity had taken place’ . No charges related to the alleged intoxicant have been laid.

Mr Singleton is also charged with two counts of possession of child pornography.

One of the six plaintiffs claimed he showed her pornography on his phone, Judge Hament Dhanji said.

“(The charges are of) a disturbingly predatory nature with not just one, but a number of complainants,” he said.

“There are a significant number of charges, some of which are very serious.”

Mr Singleton has been in custody since his arrest on January 25. The court heard he would defend all 19 charges, which are not expected to go to trial until the second half of next year.

Mr Singleton’s solicitor, Stewart O’Connell, told the court his client was assaulted in prison and suffered from anxiety and paranoia as a result.

He said any risk of his client being released could be offset by keeping the 20-year-old under virtual house arrest while out on bail.

The Crown prosecutor disagreed, telling the court there were ‘substantial and substantial risks that (Mr Singleton allegedly) would start again’.

“This type of behavior doesn’t just go away,” he said.

“He still poses a risk to underage children.”

The court heard at least one of the plaintiffs tell Mr Singleton she was 16, which could lead the 20-year-old to plead a defense of “honest and reasonable mistake of fact”.

Judge Dhanji called the prosecution’s case strong, but said “it’s not necessarily without problems.”

Some of the offenses are believed to have taken place in Moss Vale in the southern highlands of New South Wales.  Adelaide Lang
Camera iconSome of the offenses are believed to have taken place in Moss Vale in the southern highlands of New South Wales. Adelaide Lang Credit: News Corp Australia

He acknowledged concerns about ‘young people in general at risk of predatory sexual behaviour’, but felt the risk could be mitigated.

The Supreme Court judge granted bail to Mr Singleton, but with strict conditions prohibiting him from accessing the internet or having more than one phone. He is also prohibited from being in the company of anyone under the age of 18, except in the company of his parent or guardian.

The 20-year-old will be under a strict curfew and banned from entering the Southern Highland towns of Moss Vale or Bowral except for lawful purposes.

He will only be allowed one non-smartphone, which cannot be connected to the internet and must be presented to the police upon request.

Mr Singleton will return to court on February 6.

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