Doonside gang rape: teenager in custody over the alleged assault of 14-year-old girl

A 16-year-old boy has been charged with one count of sexual assault by detectives investigating the alleged gang rape of a 14-year-old girl that has shocked the community and inflamed racial tensions in western Sydney.

The sexual assault allegedly took place in Bill Colbourne Reserve, Doonside, on Saturday night.

Police sources confirmed to Fairfax Media that the boy had presented himself to Blacktown police station on Thursday, before being questioned by detectives and charged with sexual assault.

The teen was refused bail and is scheduled to appear in court on Friday.

The young victim, who cannot be identified, was "very happy" at news of the breakthrough, said her aunt, who has been looking after her since the attack.

"She's doing good, she's all right," the aunt said.

The family of the teenager thanked everyone who has given information to the police and has supported them through the ordeal.

The girl has been too traumatised to go to school this week. On Wednesday, her cousin took her to Bondi to help take her mind off the incident.

"She's taking it easy, she has opened up a bit," her aunt said.

The girl was allegedly walking home alone through Bill Colbourne Reserve in Doonside at 11pm on Saturday when she was allegedly sexually assaulted by six men, who she described as in their early 20s and African in appearance.

One man allegedly assaulted her before pinning her to the footpath to allow five others to assault her over 30 minutes.

The arrest came as Blacktown police led a "harmony walk" through the suburb on Thursday night in a show of unity with leaders from the African and Pacific islander communities, who feared the incident may inflame racial tensions.

Friends and family of the victim, who is of Pacific islander background, had vowed on social media to stab and kill Africans in Doonside.

Her brother claimed he knew who had carried out the attack and was threatening on social media to hunt them down on Tuesday.

"I have spoken with many community members in recent days," Superintendent Gary Merryweather, from Blacktown police, said.

"They are calm and very committed to ensuring that their good work is not blemished by speculation that doesn't reflect the reality within and between their communities.

"Blacktown is home to many communities and their collective commitment to a harmonious relationship is very real and very powerful.

"These communities have worked incredibly hard to achieve this outcome, and along with police they have ensured community harmony has become a reality."

The victim's sister desperately called for calm on Wednesday, saying "what we need is peace especially my parents and ... my baby sister".

Several emergency meetings between African and Pacific islander community leaders have been held in Blacktown this week to quell racial tensions.

Vic Alhadeff, the chairman of the Community Relations Commission, convened a meeting on Wednesday "with the objective of calming tensions and exploring how the two communities could work together".

"One of the people at the meeting said he felt a terrible shame at what had taken place," he said.

"His community [has] done nothing wrong. That is the danger of tempers being so high - groups become hyped up and seek to react or lash out against another group. It's not the community which is at fault.”

Strike Force Tompo, comprising detectives from the Sex Crimes Squad and investigators from Blacktown Local Area Command, has been formed to investigate the alleged sexual assault.

Detectives have received plenty of support from members of the public to date, according to a police statement, and are continuing to encourage anyone with information about this incident, who has not yet spoken to police, to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: www.police.nsw.gov.au.

The story Doonside gang rape: teenager in custody over the alleged assault of 14-year-old girl first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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