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Ex-Australian childcare worker charged with sexual abuse of 91 kids

Sydney, Aug 1 (IANS) Police in Australia have charged a former childcare worker with over 1,600 offences following the alleged sexual abuse of 91 children, which he also filmed and distributed it online

According to the Australian Federal Police (AFP), the 45-year-old accused, who was arrested in August 2022, carried out the crimes at 10 childcare centres in Queensland, and one each in New South Wales and an unnamed overseas country, the BBC reported.

The AFP said that the man targeted young girls over a 15-year period.

He is facing 246 counts of rape and 673 counts of indecent assault against children — many of them in aggravated circumstances.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

He also faces hundreds of charges for filming and distributing child abuse material.

Police have found 4,000 images and videos on his electronic devices and also alleged that he recorded all of his abuse.

Addressing the media on Tuesday, AFP Commissioner Justine Gough said the case would be “deeply distressing” for the community.

“It’s beyond the realms of anyone’s imagination, what this person did to these children. You try not to be shocked after a long period of time in the police… but this is a horrific case,” the BBC quoted the Commissioner as saying.

The 87 Australian children who were allegedly abused, some of whom are now adults, have been identified and their families contacted.

Australian authorities are now working with their international counterparts to contact the other four alleged victims.

According to investigators, the accused was caught after they were able to identify the background appearing in child abuse material as one of the childcare centres he worked at.

The AFP executed a search warrant at the Brisbane centre on August 20, 2022, before also searching the man’s Gold Coast home and seizing electronic devices allegedly containing child abuse material he had created.

He had been reported to police in Queensland twice before, in 2021 and 2022, but investigators had found insufficient evidence to act, police say.

The man is next due to appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court on August 21.

Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad is a news channel and fortnightly newspaper meant for Australia’s Indian community and, besides news, focuses on lifestyle subjects like health, travel, culture, arts, beauty, fashion, entertainment, Bollywood, etc. Our YouTube channel here features daily news bulletins besides infotainment videos on lifestyle subjects.

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