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An abandoned motel has become the site of a third alleged sexual assault in the space of two years – as calls grow for the motel to be demolished.
Two men were arrested and charged over the alleged rape of a 12-year-old girl at the former Batavia Motor Inne on Fitzgerald Street in Geraldton, Western Australia, on March 15.
Detectives claim George Windie, 39, and Chad James Broad, 46, befriended the teenage girl and supplied her with alcohol before luring her to the derelict building where they assaulted her.
The alleged ordeal took place between 11:30am and 4pm.
It comes mere months after Norman Trevor Gilbert, 34, pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a woman at the former motel in December last year.
Calls have grown for the abandoned Batavia Motor Inne (pictured) in Geraldton to be locked up and demolished after a third alleged sexual assault occurred at the site
Before that, James Robert Sbresni, 21, was sentenced to five years in prison after he raped a 14-year-old girl at the Batavia Motor Inne in June, 2021.
Sbresnii had been grooming the young girl on Snapchat for months prior to the sexual assault.
The rapist, who lived in Preston, Melbourne, met up with the girl after flying into Western Australia during the state’s Covid lockdown and lying to border authorities to gain entry.
Sbresnii claimed he had family in the state to avoid being turned back.
The latest sexual assault has prompted calls for the gates to the former motel to be locked immediately following the most recent alleged rape – which will also speed up the process of knocking it down.
The owners claim they received a letter from the City of Greater Geraldton council last Wednesday demanding the gates be locked, reports The West Australian.
‘The city has reviewed the situation in light of the most recent serious incident on site and is now requesting that the gates be closed and locked as soon as the last people on site are removed,’ the letter read, according to the owners.
‘The city is working with the Department of Communities, local police and support agencies to achieve this.’
George Windie, 39, and Chad James Broad, 46, allegedly lured a 12-year-old girl to the abandoned building and sexually assaulted her on March 15
It comes almost two years after James Robert Sbresni (pictured), 21, was jailed for raping a 14-year-old girl at the Batavia Motor Inne in June, 2021
Fencing was initially installed around the building in late January but the gates have been left open while the council and community services work on moving squatters from the site.
The City of Greater Geraldton had launched legal action against the owners of the site last November after the building was not demolished within 90 days.
City chief executive Ross McKim told the publication: ‘For a number of months now, the city has been working with 54 Fitzgerald to progress demolition of the site and putting up substantial fencing was part of that process.’
Mr McKim said the majority of the squatters who were at the site had been moved to a new residence hence why the City of Geraldton had strongly urged ’54 Fitzgerald to close the gates’ for ‘public safety’.
A Department of Communities spokesperson claimed the department had no authority over the site as it was privately owned but the City of Geraldton, WA Police and the department mutually agreed to close the fences.
The City of Geraldton launched legal action against the owners of the site last year after it wasn’t demolished within 90 days. The most recent alleged rape has prompted them to send a letter to the owners demanding they lock the gates immediately to speed up the process
Police arrested George Windie on Wednesday and charged him with two counts of indecently dealing with a child under the age of 13.
He fronted Geraldton Magistrates Court on Thursday where he was not required to enter a plea and did not apply for bail.
He was remanded in custody and will appear in court again next month.
Chad James Broad appeared at the same court last Friday charged with two counts of sexually penetrating a child under the age of 13 and one count of indecent dealing in aggravated circumstances of being in company with another person.
He did not apply for bail and was remanded in custody. Broad will reappear in court again in May.