8 arrested in Australia over incest, child abuse claims

SYDNEY - Eight people have been arrested across Australia, police said on Friday (April 6), following a lengthy investigation into disturbing allegations of incest and child abuse.

The four men and four women, aged between 29 and 51, were seized over offences allegedly committed at a rural property in New South Wales state, both historical and ongoing.

Local media said they were part of an infamous family first exposed several years ago when police and child protection workers visited their compound and found a dozen filthy, neglected children.

They were all removed into state care.

Sydney's Daily Telegraph said that one of the claims was that one man had fathered children with his sister and then raped them, while other young children were raped by their teenage siblings.

Grandparents were also accused of sexually assaulting their grandchildren, it reported.

New South Wales police said a strike force was set up in 2012 to investigate allegations of "incest, child sexual assault, and serious neglect of children".

"Following extensive investigations, strike force detectives, assisted by South Australia Police and Western Australia Police Force, arrested eight people across three operations," it said.

Among the charges they face are sexual intercourse with a child under 10, incest, indecency, common assault and perjury.

They were all remanded in custody with police seeking the extradition of those not in New South Wales back to the state to face court.