A 31-year-old Australian man allegedly filmed himself sexually abusing young girls and shared the video online. The St Clair man was arrested as a part of a global network of child sex and porn predators. He is now facing around 200 charges, including some related to bestiality and could end up serving years in prison.
The news comes as rape allegations rock Australia with women taking to streets demanding justice and safety at workplace. Australia has reported several cases of sexual harassment and rape at workplace, with Brittany Higgins, a former political adviser last month alleging that she was raped by a male colleague in the nation's Parliament House.
The Sydney man was initially arrested last year in May for allegedly filming himself raping young children and sharing the footage online. Later he was given bail but investigations revealed that he would regularly rape minors and make videos of them and post online.
However, the news came to light only on Wednesday after the man was charged on 152 counts of sexual abuse to minors including multiple counts of sexual intercourse with a child under 10 years. The 31-year-old from Willoughby in Sydney's north was finally arrested on Wednesday again from his home in connection with a global child sex ring.
Besides, he has been charged with one count of possessing or controlling child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service. The Willoughby man is the 20th person arrested in Operation Arkstone, an operation launched by the Australian Federal Police to nab a global network of alleged child sex predators.
AFP Commander Hilda Sirec said child exploitation has got worse during the pandemic. "We need to remove these children from harm and importantly, with law enforcement in Australia and across the globe, we must arrest those who carry out these heinous crimes," she said.
Women Unsafe in Australia
Commander Sirec said Australia needs to fight the exploitation of children with the same purpose and urgency as the country fought the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the launch of Operation Arkstone in 2020, more than 53 children have been rescued from further harm in Australia, according to the Australian Federal Police.
Nearly 150 international referrals have been made with police in Europe, Asia, North America and New Zealand and arrests have been from different countries over the past year. Interestingly, the news of the man raping minors and filming them comes amid reports of growing incidents of rape in Australia.
This includes allegations against some high-profile politicians. Last month Higgins, a former political adviser, said that she'd been attacked by a male colleague, also an adviser for the ruling Liberal Party, in a government minister's office in 2019.
Higgins' story has triggered a flood of other women to come forward with their own experiences of alleged sexual assault and harassment in Australian politics. The most explosive of these - a 1988 rape allegation - now hangs over an unidentified cabinet minister although he denies rape, Prime Minister Scott Morrison claimed last month.