Otago Daily Times

Huge global child sex abuse ring uncovered


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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