ACT News

Man accused of dating-site sex attacks granted bail

Accused: Adrian Nathaniel Andrews.
Accused: Adrian Nathaniel Andrews. 

A Barton man will fight allegations he used dating websites to lure and sexually assault two women late in 2015.

But a broken mobile phone has slowed the investigation into Adrian Nathaniel Andrews, as police scrutinise his communications with other woman he met online.

Mr Andrews, 33, was granted bail in the ACT Magistrates Court on Wednesday on condition he post a $17,000 security, not leave the territory, and not access the internet.

Mr Andrews' lawyer, James Lawton, entered pleas of not guilty on his client's behalf to charges of committing acts of indecency, sexual assault, sexual intercourse without consent, and unlawfully choking another person.

Mr Andrews is accused of sex attacks on the two women he met via dating websites in November and December.

Court documents said one woman agreed to meet Mr Andrews at his Barton unit on the night of December 11.

The woman said the pair had wine and chatted, but she noticed a change in his eyes before he allegedly slapped her, called her a "dirty s---", and then grabbed her by the throat and squeezed.

Mr Andrews is alleged to have then slapped her again, partially stripped her, and violently forced her to perform oral sex.

He then allegedly bit her on the neck and nipples, and violently sexually assaulted her on the lounge.

The woman called the police days later and a medical examination identified injuries consistent with her claims, court documents said.

Mr Andrews was arrested and later denied bail in court on grounds he could reoffend or interfere with witnesses if he was released from custody.

A second woman came forward after his arrest.

Mr Andrews is accused of committing three acts of indecency and one act of indecency committed in front of another person in relation to a November incident involving her.

The woman allegedly met Mr Andrews at his Barton flat, where he proposed sex, put his hand in her underwear, exposed his penis, and forcibly kissed her.

Mr Andrews made his second bail application – which was opposed by the prosecution – before Magistrate Peter Dingwall on Wednesday.

A police spokesman told the court that investigators were yet to locate a mobile phone and laptop belonging to Mr Andrews.

The officer said Mr Andrews had used a new phone since October, after the old device broke.

She told the court officers believed both missing electronic devices could contain important information in the investigation.

The court also heard that police were working to identify and speak to other women Mr Andrews had contacted via dating websites in the past.

The prosecution argued Mr Andrews' bail application should be refused on the grounds he posed a flight risk and could harass or intimidate witnesses.

Prosecutor Sarah McMurray said Mr Andrews had limited links in the ACT, as he had only arrived there from Queensland two years ago.

The court heard his job at the Attorney-General's Department had been suspended pending the outcome of the criminal case.

But Mr Lawton said bail conditions could mitigate risks.

Mr Dingwall granted Mr Andrews bail, as he had no history of breaching court orders and the court had seen no evidence to suggest he would interfere with or intimidate witnesses.

But the magistrate imposed strict bail conditions, including that the accused not leave the ACT, report to police twice each week, not contact the complainants, not possess a computer or access the internet, provide his phone number to police, and provide a $17,000 security, of which $2000 must be in cash.

The matter will return to court in March.