A 31-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting his three-year-old daughter was refused bail yesterday.
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The Lake Macquarie man, who cannot be named, appeared in Raymond Terrace Local Court after he was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault with a child under 16, on Tuesday.

Officers from the Newcastle-based Child Abuse Squad began investigating the matter in November last year when the child was diagnosed with a sexually

transmitted infection.

The man’s barrister, Andrew Bright, said the prosecution’s case was weak and the allegations speculative.

“This man’s arrest yesterday and refusal of police to allow bail is an abuse of process,” Mr Bright said.

He told the court his client was working on a fly-in fly-out basis interstate and had returned to NSW eight times to help with the investigation and participate in

interviews.

“It is beggars belief that a person who has been so co-operative and so distressed by these inquiries that he has been coming back to assist authorities with what happened to his daughter,” Mr Bright said.

Police strongly opposed bail because they said the accused man had previous convictions for matters of violence.

The police prosecutor said there were concerns for the child and a witness, and with ties interstate the man was a flight risk.

Magistrate Caleb Franklin said the strength of the prosecution case and the likelihood of conviction eclipsed the defence’s argument the man had strong community ties and would not flee.

“In my view the protection of the community must loom large, particularly because of the defendant’s previous criminal record, and with respect to the victim being a vulnerable person.”

Unshaven and wearing a grey hoodie, the man showed no emotion as he was refused bail while several of his female family members cried in the back of the court.

The court heard the child is in the custody of a family member. The matter was adjourned to Newcastle Local Court on September 19.

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