A man previously identified as a person of interest in the disappearance of toddler William Tyrrell is facing a string of historic child sexual abuse charges in Ballarat.
Alleged paedophile William "Bill" Spedding was due to face Ballarat Magistrates Court on Thursday for a filing hearing after he was charged with a seven child sex crimes offences by Victoria Police on July 4.
Solicitor Peter O'Brien who appeared on Spedding's behalf requested he be excused from attending court in person for the first hearing of the matter as he lived in regional New South Wales.
The offences are alleged to have occurred in Clarendon near Ballarat and other locations across regional Victoria.
The court heard the 65-year-old was already facing a string of separate child sexual offences and was due to appear in a New South Wales court in January next year.
Court documents revealed police had charged Spedding with multiple child sexual abuse offences, including various counts of indecent assault and sexual intercourse with children between 1983 and 1985.
The documents also revealed in one incident Spedding was accused of indecently a child in a lounge room.
In another incident he is accused of sexual penetration of a girl under the age of 10.
Police also allege in another incident Spedding forced a child to masturbate his penis.
Magistrate Mark Stratmann accepted his request to be excused from the court, but said the matter must proceed in his absence.
Mr O'Brien requested the matter be suppressed on the grounds it would "grossly" prejudice the course of justice for an upcoming Campbelltown trial, due to start in February.
He told the court Spedding was questioned by police over the disappearance of three-year-old William Tyrrell in the Port Macquarie area of New South Wales in September 2014.
Spedding has denied any involvement in William's disappearance.
The court heard some of the Victorian charges mirror those Spedding faced in NSW and involved one of the same complainants.
Mr O'Brien told the court identifying Spedding in media reports posed a "real and substantial risk" of prejudicing the proper administration of justice for the other charges he was facing.
"There is a real grave concern in relation to prejudice of future jurors,” he said
But Mr Stratmann rejected the request.
He said jurors were "robust and responsible" and not "fragile and prone to prejudice".
"Juries are robust and when properly directed can deal with issues before them," he said.
Spedding will return to the Ballarat Magistrates Court in October.
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