A FORMER prominent Hunter Surf Life Saving official accused of sexually and indecently assaulting two young girls over a four-year period will face a trial in Newcastle District Court next year.
Robert John Beavis, now 54, is accused of sexually abusing the two girls - who were aged between seven and nine - while they were sleeping at his home at Belmont, in his backyard swimming pool and in the surf at the beach on a number of occasions between 2003 and 2006.
Mr Beavis, who is represented by solicitor John Anthony, appeared in Newcastle Local Court last week charged with 20 offences.
The DPP withdrew 10 counts and Mr Beavis was committed for trial on the remaining 10 charges, which include five counts of aggravated indecent assault on a victim under the age of 10 and five counts of sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 10.
The more serious offences carry a maximum of life imprisonment.
Mr Beavis, who appeared in court via audio visual link from Cessnock Correctional Centre, will next appear in Newcastle District Court on September 3 where it is expected he will be arraigned, plead not guilty and get a trial date sometime in 2021.
One of the girls told police that she had a number of sleepovers at the Beavis family home during 2003 and 2004 and she was woken on at least four occasions to find Mr Beavis lying next to her indecently assaulting her, according to a Crown case statement.
The girl has told police she was also sexually assaulted in the Beavis family's backyard swimming pool and while swimming at the beach.
The second girl also claims she was sexually assaulted in the backyard pool in 2006 and while having a sleepover at the Belmont home.
Lake Macquarie detectives established Strike Force Luongo to investigate allegations against Beavis, a former Surf Life Saving movement official who represented the Hunter at local, regional, state and national events, following information received in 2018.
He was arrested by detectives in January and gave an interview to police, denying all of the allegations, calling them "rubbish" and saying they did not occur.
"The accused stated he was just an easy target, because he was a good man and close family that had time for his children's friends," the Crown case statement says.