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Prison Guard Charged Over Alleged Sexual Abuse

A corrections officer in New South Wales has been charged with the alleged “ongoing sexual abuse” of numerous female inmates at a women’s prison in Sydney’s west.

62-year-old Wayne Astill was arrested at a home in Kurrajong Heights just after 9am on Wednesday, following a joint investigation between NSW Police and Correctional Services into allegations of sexual assault made against him.

He was taken to Windsor Police Station where he was charged with six counts of aggravated sexual assault - victim under authority of offender, three counts of aggravated indecent assault - victim under authority of offender, two counts of incite aggravated indecency - victim 16 or over under authority, and misconduct in public offence.

Mr Astill has been suspended from duty and spent the night behind bars in Windsor after being refused bail. He will appear before Penrith Local Court today.

Police will allege in court that he sexually assaulted two female inmates at a correctional facility in Berkshire Park on numerous occasions between 2016 and 2017.

A spokeswoman for Corrective Services NSW told that this alleged behaviour was “unacceptable”.

“CSNSW will continue to do everything it can to assist the investigation and the women involved,” she said.

“All inmates are being reminded of the avenues available to them to report any instances of such behaviour, including CSNSW staff, the NSW Ombudsman, NSW Police and official visitors.

“Allegations of this nature are extremely rare and do not reflect upon the vast majority of our staff, who would be disgusted by these allegations.”

Corrective Services Investigation Unit Commander, Detective Inspector Robert Hollows commended the work of Strike Force Nautilus, who have been investigating reports of sexual and indecent assault of female inmates since October 2018.

“Our investigators work closely with Corrective Services NSW to target any corrupt or illegal activity that may occur within these facilities,” he said.

“By taking swift and appropriate action we hope to prevent these types of behaviours which pose a risk to the security of the facilities and the safety of other staff and inmates.”

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