Move FM Australian News

Melbourne man gets 13-year sentence for child abuse in Philippines

Jun 14, 2024

MELBOURNE, Victoria, Australia – A Melbourne, Australia, man has been sentenced to 13 years and eight months in prison by the Melbourne County Court after pleading guilty to 13 child abuse offences, including the persistent sexual abuse of a child under 16 years of age while outside Australia.

The 46-year-old Epping man used social media applications to communicate with victims overseas, soliciting child abuse material and arranging to meet minors in the Philippines over an extended period. Evidence revealed he made payments to overseas facilitators in exchange for child abuse material.

Australian Border Force (ABF) officers searched the man at Melbourne International Airport upon his return from the Philippines in September 2022. They found child abuse material on his phone, which was subsequently seized.

WA man's assets seized over laundering | Shepparton News

The Australian Federal Police (AFP), with assistance from Victoria Police, executed a search warrant at the man’s home in November 2022. They seized a laptop and external hard drives, uncovering more than 900 files of child abuse material, including self-produced videos of the man engaging in sexual activities with a child under 16 years of age in the Philippines.

Information provided by the AFP to the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Centre (PICAAC) led to the rescue of two nine-year-old girls by the Philippine National Police in February and March 2023.

On 26 March 2024, the man pleaded guilty to:

  • One count of persistent sexual abuse of a child outside Australia.
  • Nine counts of grooming a person to facilitate sexual activity with a child outside Australia.
  • Two counts of using a carriage service to solicit and receive child abuse material.
  • One count of possessing or controlling child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service.
Sioux Falls man sentenced to prison for forged bank checks

He was sentenced this week, on Tuesday, to 13 years and eight months in prison, with a non-parole period of nine years and six months.

AFP Detective Superintendent Bernard Geason emphasized the importance of the AFP’s relationships with law enforcement partners in bringing offenders to justice.

“We cannot send a clearer message to offenders, if you engage in these abhorrent activities, you will be found and face the full force of the law,” he said Friday. “Online child abuse causes significant harm to victims who suffer each time images or videos of their abuse are accessed and shared.”

ABF Superintendent Kelly-Anne Parish highlighted the critical role of ABF officers at the border in protecting the community from illegal and abhorrent digital material featuring child victims.

“Cases like these sadly demonstrate that child abuse material is not a victimless crime. Our officers are dedicated to disrupting this abhorrent crime,” Superintendent Parish said Friday.

Facebook Comment