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Geraldton man paid more than $440K to watch the sexual abuse of children via web cam

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The Australian Federal Police have released details that a Western Australian man has been charged after he paid over $440,000 to watch children being sexually abused overseas via his webcam.

A joint investigation by Australian Federal Police and officers from the Western Australian police force uncovered that the 71-year-old had procured children to engage in sexually explicit acts or be sexually abused on camera while he watched on his web cam from his Geraldton home.

Police have said that in one recorded chat he told a 13-year-old girl ‘not to tell other people’ and threatened another girl with sharing photographs of her with his friends if she did not engage in sexual acts for him to watch.

The man had been arrested in September 2020 after the WA Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team identified him from financial data collected during a separate child protection investigation in South Australia.

During a search of the man’s home, investigators found child abuse material on electronic devices including images of girls as young as seven. Police said further forensic investigation of the devices uncovered internet communications with dozens of girls in the Philippines.

In November 2021, he pleaded guilty to 58 offences including persistent sexual abuse of a child outside Australia, procuring a child to engage in sexual activity outside Australia, and soliciting and possessing child abuse material.

In a statement AFP Commander John Tanti said,

“It is heartbreaking that vulnerable children are being degraded to satisfy the desires of these offenders. The impact of this abuse continues long after the images or videos are recorded.”

“AFP investigators are committed to tracking down those responsible for inflicting harm on young children and bringing them to account for their despicable acts,” he said.

Following referrals from Australian authorities, five alleged adult child abuse facilitators are facing court in the Philippines.

The Geraldton man was charged on 26 May 2022 and has been sentenced to 14 and a half years in jail. He has been ordered to serve nine years before he is eligible for parole.

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