Child sex attacker-accused expected to plead not guilty: state prosecution

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The man accused of sexually assaulting two children taken from a North Perth child care centre in April is expected to plead not guilty to the charges, according to the state’s prosecution lawyer.

Vincenzo Mule appeared in Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court on Wednesday charged with three counts of sexual penetration of a child under 13 and two counts of deprivation of liberty.

An application by the 52-year-old’s lawyer to further delay court proceedings was on Wednesday denied, after state prosecution lawyer Maria Mattocks raised concerns the two victims, a four-year-old girl and five-year-old boy, were yet to prerecord their evidence.

“There is a four-year-old and five-year-old child complainant waiting to be pre-recorded if this matter ends up being a not guilty plea, which I think it will be by the sounds of the way discussions are going between [the defence lawyer] and the accused,” she said.

“We would be opposing any adjournment application…. the matter can’t be delayed any further.”

The Magistrate agreed, rejecting Mr Mule’s application for a three week adjournment, and instead remanded the matter for one week, until July 6.

Mr Mule, who appeared via video link from Hakea Prison, remained silent and bowed his head throughout most of the hearing.

He is accused of luring two children away from a holiday care program and sexually abusing them around midday on April 19.

He is then alleged to have dumped the children in Hyde Park.

Mr Mule is yet to enter a plea to his charges. He is also been charged with five counts of breaching a violence restraining order and criminal damage by fire in relation to another matter.

A suppression order preventing the media from publishing any images of the North Perth man remains in place.

“There are a number of other people in Perth of similar ages with exactly the same name,” Detective Sergeant Mariano Calzada from the Child Abuse Squad said in May, after an earlier court hearing.

“So we don’t want people to go out there and start acting in a way that is going to jeopardise someone else’s safety.”

The Barnett government is investigating how staff at the holiday care centre allowed the children to be allegedly abducted and sexually abused.

Shortly after the alleged North Perth sexual assaults occurred, Police Commander Kylie Whiteley described the incident as “every parent’s worst nightmare”.

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