A MAN accused of assaulting a nine-year-old girl, amid investigations the girl consumed an illicit drug, has been refused bail in Raymond Terrace Local Court.
The man, who cannot be named because it could identify the young girl, pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on Tuesday.
He did not apply for bail and will remain behind bars until the matter returns to the same court on May 27.
Specialist police say they launched a child neglect investigation after a nine-year-old girl was taken to John Hunter Hospital on Monday.
The girl was unresponsive and had allegedly suffered bruising.
Doctors were told the girl had consumed food containing an illicit drug and may have been given non-prescribed medication, police said.
"Forensic analysis and pathology testing are currently being conducted," police said in a statement.
"The girl remains in hospital and her condition is being monitored."
Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad detectives launched an investigation and, following inquiries, arrested a man, 28, at a home in Raymond Terrace about 9pm on Monday.
He was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Police say they will allege in court that the man, who is known to the girl, assaulted her, causing bruising.
Investigations are continuing into how the girl consumed the food that may have contained illicit drugs.
The incident has prompted police to remind parents and carers to remove any non-prescribed medication or adulterated food from areas that can be accessed by children to prevent the risk of exposure to and ingestion of potentially dangerous substances.