20 October 2020

Horse breeder charged with sexual assault of backpacker to face trial

| Hannah Sparks
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Gregory Richard Douglas in paddock with horse.

Gregory Richard Douglas, who claims to be a horse breeder, will face trial for rape and sexual assault in April 2021. Photo: Facebook.

A man accused of sexually assaulting a young German woman multiple times during a farm stay with him on a remote property near Goulburn will face trial in April 2021.

Gregory Richard Douglas of Peelwood is accused of five counts of sexual intercourse without consent, six counts of sexually touching another person without consent, and six counts of assault with act of indecency.

He was initially charged with sexual assault and four counts of sexual touching without consent; however, those charges have since increased. Police had launched an investigation and urged other victims to come forward at the time of his arrest on 22 October 2019.

The trial will begin at Sydney’s Downing Centre on 19 April next year and is expected to go for three to four weeks.

Police will allege the 67-year-old man sexually touched the then 18-year-old German tourist on several occasions between 28 September 2019, and 18 October 2019.

The alleged offences took place while the woman was staying with Douglas as part of a farm-stay program.

Douglas – who claims to be a horse breeder – is yet to enter a plea.

The woman reported the assaults to Surry Hills Police Area Command in October 2019 and officers from the Hume Police District launched an investigation.

On 22 October 2019, investigators executed a crime scene warrant at the rural property in Peelwood where Mr Douglas and the German woman were staying. They seized computers, mobile phones and electronic storage devices.

Mr Douglas was arrested at the scene and taken to Crookwell Police Station. He has been refused bail ever since.

A police prosecutor previously told Goulburn Local Court that the 18-year-old girl was ‘vulnerable’ while working on the isolated property because she was reliant on Mr Douglas for food and accommodation.

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