Seven people from a circus training school have been charged with a total of 127 offences relating to the alleged sexual and physical abuse of three boys under the age of eight.
Four women, two men and a teenage girl were arrested in the Blue Mountains on Monday evening by detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad.
All seven have connections to Katoomba business The Arcade Circus, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Some of the trainers allegedly of performed sadistic ‘blood rituals’ on the young boys, the paper reported.
Therese Ann Cook, 58, who owns the company which caters to children with and without disabilities, was charged with 43 offences.
They included aggravated sexual assault of a child under 10, sexual intercourse with a child under 10 and aggravated kidnapping.
Cook formed the The Arcade Circus in 2009, ‘a community based mixed ability circus,’ according to an online profile.
She ‘continues to cherish, train and perform with The Arcade Circus ensemble,’ the profile reads.
Another description of the company describes it as ‘a family friendly environment where students can learn in a safe and fun manor’.
Police allege the group participated in the ongoing sexual and physical abuse of the three boys, who were known to them, between 2014 and 2016 in the Blue Mountains.
All seven were refused bail to appear in various courts on Tuesday.
A 17-year-old girl, an 18-year-old Katoomba man and a 20-year-old Canterbury woman will appear at a children’s court.
Two women, one aged 26 and another 58, and a man, 52, all from Katoomba, will appear at Penrith Local Court.
A Canterbury woman, 29, will appear at Central Local Court.
The charges range from assault and kidnapping to aggravated sexual assault in company (child under 10) to using a child under 14 to make child abuse material.