Hunter Valley Online Child Sex Predator Jailed, Two Girls Removed From Harm

International efforts to shut down a child sex abuse operation in the Philippines has resulted in a Hunter Valley man being jailed for up to seven years.

A joint investigation by Australian and Philippine authorities began in April last year after Australian Border Force officers located child abuse material on a 52-year-old man’s mobile phone during a baggage examination at Sydney International Airport.

More of the material was uncovered in a search of the man’s home in the Hunter the following month.

Meantime in Manilla, inquiries by the Philippine National Police led to two girls being taken into the care of child protection services and a 25-year-old man being arrested.

The 52-year-old local man was charged with four offences after paying for videos which showed children being sexually abused and also soliciting child abuse material from a minor.

The charges included:

One count of using a carriage service to transmit indecent communication to person under 16 years of age, contrary to section 474S.27A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
One count of using a carriage service to access child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
One count of grooming a person to make it easier to engage in sexual activity with a child outside Australia, contrary to section 272.15A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
One count of breaching bail, contrary to section 77(1) of the Bail Act 2013 (NSW).

He pleaded guilty to all counts in November 2023 and has this month been sentenced to a maximum of seven years behind bars in Australia with a non-parole period of four years and three months.

The younger man remains before the Philippine courts accused of facilitating the production of child abuse material after conversing with the Hunter man.

Australian Federal Police Detective Superintendent Emmanuel Tsardoulias said child sex abuse victims suffered each time images or videos of their abuse was accessed and shared.

“The man did not just pay to watch children being hurt – his payment for child abuse material encouraged harm to be inflicted on young girls for his own personal gratification,” he said.

“The AFP is working tirelessly with partners to protect children – no matter where they live – and arresting and prosecuting anyone involved in harming them and stealing their innocence.”

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