Derry man William Patterson to face 90 charges of sexual abuse of children
The number of child sex abuse allegations against a Co Londonderry man has soared to 90 charges against 20 young children.
William Patterson (66), from Magherafelt Road, Tobermore originally faced four charges involving two children.
These related to two counts of engaging in activity for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification when a child was present.
It is further alleged he committed a lewd, obscene and disgusting act by exposing himself to a child, as well as engaging in sexual touching of a child, all on August 6, 2018.
Patterson first appeared at Magherafelt Magistrates Court accused of these charges in October 2018, when he was remanded on bail.
Yesterday, Patterson was returned for trial, now facing 90 charges relating to 20 children, all aged under 13.
These include 34 counts of sexual assaulting of a child, 27 counts of exposure, four counts of indecent exposure, engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, eight counts each of causing or inciting child sex activity, two for indecent assault on a male and a single count of sexual activity by an adult with a child.
The offences are alleged to have occurred over a 13-year period from 2005 to 2018, and relate to 11 female and nine male complainants.
During a preliminary enquiry, a lawyer appearing for the prosecution said there is a case to answer, which was agreed by District Judge Oonagh Mullan.
Patterson confirmed he understood the charges against him and did not object to the hearing. He declined to call witnesses or give evidence on his own behalf at this stage in proceedings.
Judge Mullan ordered Patterson to appear for arraignment at Derry Crown Court on November 7. Bail was set at £1,000 with conditions including a ban on contacting the complainants or their parents, nor any person aged under 18 without prior approval and abide by a curfew from 11pm to 8am. He must also refrain from entering a specified area by a five miles radius.