A prominent school principal is to appear in court this morning on charges of sexual assault against a child.
Hilton Humphries, 56, was arrested last night over alleged assaults that occurred at Moree Secondary College school, in north-western NSW, last year. He is expected to seek bail at a hearing at Armidale Local Court today.
Mr Humphries was one of 15 ''super principals'' hand-picked by the O'Farrell government to spearhead its Connected Communities strategy aimed at improving the outcomes of Aboriginal students in public schools.
The initiative, which focuses on schools with high indigenous populations, commenced early last year. In the months that followed, detectives from the NSW Police Child Abuse Squad's Ballina office launched an investigation into the indecent assault of a 10-year-old girl at the school.
Mr Humphries was charged last night with two counts of aggravated indecent assault of a child aged under 16 and under the authority of the alleged offender.
In court, detectives will allege he indecently assaulted the girl in his office.
A spokesman for the Department of Education and Communities said it became aware of the allegations last year and the principal was "immediately directed to alternative duties in which he would not have contact with children or schools". He subsequently took leave.
"Counselling and support will be available for students or staff who have concerns about this matter," the spokesman said. "Once legal proceedings have concluded, the DEC will consider further action, including the principal's future employment."
"As this matter is currently before the courts, the DEC cannot comment further."
Mr Humphries has previously held principal appointments at Mungindi, Bellingen, Gulgong, Nambucca Heads and Gunnedah.
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