Otago Daily Times

Huge global child sex abuse ring un­cov­ered

- Crime · Society · Child Abuse · Sexual Abuse · Child Labour · Violence and Abuse · Incidents · Sydney · New South Wales · Queensland · Australia · Western Australia · Port Macquarie · United States of America · Canada · New Zealand · Wyong

SYD­NEY: A NSW child care worker and a foot­ball coach are among 14 men po­lice say filmed and shared the sex­ual abuse of 46 Aus­tralian ba­bies and chil­dren in a mas­sive, global on­line child ex­ploita­tion net­work.

Men from NSW, Queens­land and Western Aus­tralia are ac­cused of prey­ing on chil­dren be­tween the ages of 16 months and 15 to pro­duce and up­load child abuse ma­te­rial to a range of on­line plat­forms.

The men range in age from 20 to 48 and in­clude a child care worker, vol­un­teer foot­ball coach and dis­abil­ity sup­port worker.

Po­lice say the for­mer child care worker used his job and ‘‘other de­cep­tive means’’ in his per­sonal life to gain ac­cess to 30 chil­dren.

Six­teen of the chil­dren were from one child care cen­tre on the NSW coast near Port Mac­quarie.

The man shared them with his 22­year­old part­ner, who also abused them.

The 27­year­old man has been charged with more than 300 of­fences and his part­ner faces 124 charges.

Both men will ap­pear in Port Mac­quarie Lo­cal Court on Novem­ber 19.

The vol­un­teer soc­cer coach was able to gain ac­cess to seven chil­dren and will face Cen­tral

Lo­cal Court on Fe­bru­ary 23 on 44 charges.

Po­lice made their first ar­rest in Fe­bru­ary af­ter tip­offs from Amer­i­can so­cial me­dia com­pa­nies were passed on by US au­thor­i­ties.

Ma­te­rial seized from a 30­year­old Wy­ong man’s home sparked an eight­month in­ves­ti­ga­tion cul­mi­nat­ing in the most re­cent ar­rest on Fri­day.

Po­lice said each ar­rest and search war­rant led to the dis­cov­ery of more of­fend­ers and more chil­dren need­ing to be saved from on­go­ing abuse.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors have laid 828 charges and have not ruled out fur­ther ar­rests.

Eight NSW men have been charged with 577 of­fences against 39 chil­dren.

Po­lice also laid 30 charges against three men in Queens­land with one child vic­tim iden­ti­fied, and 221 charges laid against three men with six child vic­tims iden­ti­fied in Western Aus­tralia.

Bes­tial­ity charges re­lat­ing to four an­i­mals were also laid against men in NSW.

More than 140 mat­ters were re­ferred back to Europe, Asia, the United States, Canada and New Zealand dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, as well as 18 to the United States, which led to three ar­rests. — AAP

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