Child Abuse Squad detectives have charged a 19-year-old WA man with 208 offences, including the sexual abuse of five boys, after he was allegedly linked to a national online child exploitation network.
Police will allege that between 2014 and 2020, the man sexually assaulted five boys who were aged between 3 and 11 at the time he first abused them. The victims were known to the man through family and friends.
The Gosnells man is accused of recording some of the abuse and sharing those videos and photographs online with other alleged child sex offenders around Australia.
One of the people with whom he allegedly shared the horrific content is a NSW man, who was arrested and charged in May as part of the Australian Federal Police-led Operation Arkstone.
Operation Arkstone is a national investigation into individuals producing and sharing child abuse material.
AFP investigators in NSW alerted the Western Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (WA JACET) after an examination of the NSW man’s electronic devices revealed he had allegedly communicated with a man in WA.
The WA JACET, which comprises AFP and WA Police Force officers, identified the 19-year-old as the person allegedly sharing child abuse material with the NSW man.
The Gosnells man is due to appear before the Perth Magistrates Court today, Friday 3 July 2020, charged with:-
• 60 counts of Distributing Child Exploitation Material;
• 58 counts of Indecently Record a Child under 13 years;
• 52 counts of Indecent Dealings with a Child under 13 years;
• 26 counts of Sexual Penetration of a Child under 13 years;
• Five counts of Procured, Encouraged or Incited a Child under 13 years to do an Indecent Act;
• Four counts of Child under 16: Persistent Sexual Conduct with;
• Two counts of Threaten to Kill; and
• One count of Attempted Sexual Penetration of a Child under 13 years.
Officer in Charge of the WA Police Child Abuse Squad Detective Sergeant Scott Johnson said it is heartbreaking to think of any child being violated to satisfy an adult’s depraved sexual impulses and the harm is magnified each time photos or videos of the abuse are shared with others.
“We know it is hard for parents to hear and read about these crimes and it is distressing for police to review this abhorrent material.
“But everyone can play a role in protecting children and, for police, knowing that we can remove victims from harmful situations and stop other children from being hurt at all strengthens our resolve.
AFP Child Protection Operations Detective Superintendent Paula Hudson said “Operation Arkstone has so far resulted in nine men in three states being put before the courts and at least 19 children saved from further harm.
“We will continue to be relentless in our pursuit of anyone who is involved in the exploitation or abuse of children.
This investigation is a warning that use of encrypted applications or systems will not enable you to stay anonymous – we have the capabilities and the will to track you down and arrest you.”
The investigation is ongoing and detectives urge anyone with any information regarding this matter to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at www.crimestopperswa.com.au
If you are or have been a victim of sexual abuse, or if you have information about someone being abused, please contact police on 131 444.