13th March 2018 | Paige Cockburn | ABC News
The experiences allegedly inflicted upon young boys at a former Sydney boys' home were "nothing short of horrific", police said while revealing the first arrest of their investigation.
Police say 80 alleged victims have come forward about historical child sex abuse at the Daruk Training School in Penrith in the late 1970s.
Most of the men were aged between 10 and 14 at the time of the alleged abuse.
Police on Monday announced the arrest of a 67-year-old man in Jindalee, Queensland, who has been extradited and charged with 19 offences.
Detective Sergeant Ben Hallam said the evidence already gathered showed the extent of the alleged abuse.
"The briefings I have been provided over the past 18 months shows experiences that these young boys had at the time was nothing short of horrific," he said.
"Some of these victims have been dealing with their experiences for many years, they haven't ever found a way to tell even family or friends what they have experienced."
Police are now asking more victims to come forward and speak up.
"This is the time," Detective Sergeant Hallam said.
"We understand your experience may have been traumatic, you may have had a chequered past or you may have had adverse dealings with the police.
"We are not judging you, we actually want to hear from you so we can help you."
More charges are imminent with "multiple persons facing a series of serious charges", Detective Hallam said.
Any males who were at the Daruk Boys Home between 1965 and 1985 are encouraged to call Crime Stoppers or contact the Penrith or St Mary's police stations.
Any victims who have moved interstate are reminded that it is "no impediment" for police to travel to see them.
Glenn Cooper was sent to Daruk in 1969 as a 13-year-old and said he saw a lot of sexual and physical abuse at the facility.
"The things you experience are unbelievable," he said.
"You are like little tin soldiers … it was survival mode."
Mr Cooper said on one occasion two men attempted to rape him.
"A certain guy stepped in, he dropped these two blokes, then he took me behind a shed and dropped me a couple of times.
"He told me if you don't learn how to fight they are going to rape you and you are going to be used as one of their little toy boys."
In another instance, he was put into a small concrete room, stripped, and told to clean the walls and floors with a toothbrush.
He saw other boys being "used" by the wardens who would gang up and "rape the weaker ones".
"They would make them give oral sex."
Mr Cooper said the facility was supposed to be an institute for rehabilitation but as a result of the treatment by wardens, all of the boys grew into criminals.
"None of us were rehabilitated … what was thrown at us was insecurity and rejection so we became a bunch of violent guys."
The government of the time needs to be held accountable, the now 61-year-old said.
"All government departments that were involved with wards of the states in those days knew exactly what was going on in Daruk.
"Just throw them in there, we'll forget about them, what happens to them it doesn't matter."
But Mr Cooper said he was fortunately "one of the lucky ones" and had turned his life around and founded That's the Thing about Fishing.
The not-for profit organisation helps those with mental health issues, youth in trouble and people with disabilities to find enjoyment in life through fishing.
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