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Australian wanted on charges of molesting 10 boys

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

A 20-year-old Australian faces 10 charges of child molestation, and outstanding bench warrants, in Clayton County. Prosecutors, however, don't expect to see him in court.

Jared William Forrest, a camp counselor from Tasmania, Australia, was indicted by a grand jury on charges he molested 10 boys and enticed them to have sex, during an 18-day period in June 2005.

Forrest was working at a boys camp at the Calvin Center, 13550 Woolsey Road, a year-round camp and conference center in Hampton, run by the Atlanta-area Presbyterian Church. According to the indictment passed down by a grand jury two weeks ago, he, allegedly, inappropriately touched 10 boys, all of them between the ages of 6 and 12.

According to the arrest warrants, Forrest took one boy into the bathroom, touched him inappropriately and asked him if it tickled. Forrest allegedly told another child that he was "checking for ticks."

All 10 boys claimed they had been molested "on a daily basis," during their week at camp, according to court documents. Forest was reportedly acting as a camp counselor from June 6 to 24, during the seven-week camp.

Parents complained to camp and church officials, in the months following the alleged molestations, but by then, Forrest had traveled to India, for a church-run boys camp there, according to the district attorney's office's investigations.

When contacted by the church, Forrest denied all of the allegations, said Jewel Scott, Clayton County district attorney.

The parents turned to the prosecutors at the end of the year, Scott said, expressing feelings that the Calvin Center hadn't adequately dealt with the 20-year-old.

Officials from the Calvin Center did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment. It is not clear how he came to work at the summer camp.

Forrest has faced similar allegations in Australia, according to the district attorney's investigation. He has been charged, there, with a number of counts of indecent assault. While facing the charges, his bond was revoked when he was caught with pornographic materials, violating the terms of his release.

This June, he pled guilty to an indecent assault charge, in an Australian Court, and he was sentenced to 18 months probation.

He is not listed, though, as a registered sex offender in Australia or the U.S.

According to court documents, Forrest's Clayton County arraignment is set for Nov. 6, but prosecutors do not expect him to appear to tell the court whether he's guilty or not guilty.

His trial is set to begin on Dec. 10, but Forrest will probably still be in Australia.

Scott said prosecutors will not try to bring Forrest back to Clayton County to stand trial, because of the cost of extradition and the strength of the case.

"I think we've done the most practical thing," Scott said. "We have indicted it and issued a bench warrant, so if he ever sets foot back in the U.S., he would automatically be arrested."