Blue Mountains circus family discuss false accusations they raped little boys

A loving family who were falsely accused of evil sex crimes against children have spoken publicly for the first time since the case that turned their lives upside down was thrown out of court. 

Seven members of the Cook family, who have run a circus school in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney since 2009, were charged with more than 120 offences in 2018, but the sickening allegations were completely untrue. 

Theresa Cook, 60, her daughters Yyani, 35 and Clarissa, 25, two women aged 22 and 19, a 20-year-old man and 54-year-old Paul Cook were all cleared of any wrongdoing in Penrith Local Court almost two years later in February 2020.

Seven months on, the family will appear on 60 Minutes to break their silence on the false accusations, how their lives were torn apart while trying to clear their names - and their fear of being thrown in jail for life. 

'I was just told when I was arrested that I'd be in prison for 25 years to life,' Theresa Cook said as she broke down in tears clutching her chest in a preview for the segment.  

Therese's daughter Yyani-Rose Cook-Williams

Adopted daughter Clarissa Meredith, 25

Therese's daughter Yyani-Rose Cook-Williams, 35, was falsely accused of 'inciting' a boy to rape another little boy

The alleged offences involved three boys under the age of ten between 2014 and 2016 and included false allegations of rape, assault and kidnapping. 

It was also alleged the family took part in 'blood rituals', sticking needles in a person's eye, and tongue biting, while some boys were allegedly filmed to create pornographic material.

All allegations were false, with the Director of Public Prosecutions withdrawing all 127 charges, but the family was forced to hear them in court as the case played out in the public eye.   

'I still get scared. Very, very scared,' Ms Cook said in the preview.

In a preview for the interview which will air on Sunday, Ms Cook sobbed as she explained the initial moments following her arrest

In a preview for the interview which will air on Sunday, Ms Cook sobbed as she explained the initial moments following her arrest

Therese Cook is pictured after an accident

Paul Cook, 54

'I still get scared. Very, very scared,' Ms Cook (left) said in the preview. Paul Cook is pictured right

Yyani Cook-Williams, her 30-year-old daughter, was wrongly accused of inciting two of the boys to have sex with each other. 

She explained how she repeatedly insisted she was innocent during an initial police interview for 'what felt like an hour'. 

Her brother explained that he'd 'never felt dread like that before in my life'.

'I was so afraid,' the young man said. 

Paul Cook said he still carries 'pain, sadness, some days despair' following their acquittal. 

Yyani Cook-Williams (pictured) explained how she repeatedly insisted she was innocent during an initial police interview for 'what felt like an hour

Yyani Cook-Williams (pictured) explained how she repeatedly insisted she was innocent during an initial police interview for 'what felt like an hour

The family (pictured) all maintained their innocence throughout the ordeal and were finally vindicated after nearly two years of hell

The family (pictured) all maintained their innocence throughout the ordeal and were finally vindicated after nearly two years of hell 

After all charges were dismissed, the family's defence layer Bryan Wrench said the prosecution's case was weak. 

'Crucial evidence had been overlooked and the police had no leg to stand on,' he said at

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