Sydney man jailed and child rescued in Philippines

A 59-year-old man was sentenced to 9 years imprisonment in the Downing Centre District Court today (17 December 2021) for directing the abuse of a child in the Philippines and paying for it to be live streamed online.

The man was arrested following information provided by AUSTRAC (the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre) which revealed details of a payment from a NSW resident to a known child exploitation facilitator in the Philippines.

In June 2020, members from Eastern Command Child Protection Operations, Digital Forensics Team and AFP Imagery and Geomatics executed a search warrant at the man’s residence in Sydney. Police seized a number of electronic devices, including a mobile phone, two laptops and a hard drive.

The National Bureau of Investigation in the Philippines rescued a child following information provided by AFP International Command Philippines to the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Centre (PICACC).

The man was arrested after the search warrant and in July 2020, pleaded guilty to four offences:

  • Procuring a child to engage in sexual activity outside Australia contrary to section 272.14(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth);
  • Persistent sexual abuse of a child outside of Australia contrary to section 272.11(1)(c) of the Criminal Code (Cth);
  • Possess or control child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth); and
  • Caused material to be transmitted to himself using a carriage service, the material being child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a) of the Criminal Code (Cth).

The man was sentenced to 9 years and 1 month imprisonment with a non-parole period of 5 years and 6 months.

AFP Detective Superintendent Craig Bellis said viewing child abuse material in any form was propping up a vile industry that subjected children to horrible abuse.

“Our investigators are committed to identifying these offenders wherever they may reside in the world. If they thought that abusing children overseas remotely would hide them from us then they are sorely mistaken.”

The AFP works closely with the PICACC to protect children from harm caused by Australian-based child sex offenders.

Members of the public who have any information about people involved in child abuse and exploitation are urged to call Crime stoppers on 1800 333 000.

You can also make a report online by alerting the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation via the Report Abuse button at www.accce.gov.au/report.

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