Charges laid over alleged child exploitation in Queensland


A Sunshine Coast man who allegedly paid children up to $1,000 each for explicit videos and photos has been charged after a year-long police investigation.

Police allege the 29-year-old, from Burnside, used Snapchat and Facebook to contact the children, before offering them money for the exploitation material.

Detective Inspector Daren Edwards said the investigation began in November last year and allegedly found that the man had been paying the children using cardless cash.

"This investigation took quite a bit of time because after receiving one complaint we started to identify other possible victims and searching through IP addresses," Insp. Edwards said.

Police say the victims would share explicit images and videos with the accused online.

"The person would create a situation where he would provide a code for cardless cash withdrawal at an ATM," Insp. Edwards said.

"We have some victims who received up to $1,000 over a period of time."

Victims as young as 13, police allege

The accused is facing 21 counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16 and one count of possessing child exploitation material.

Police say the charges relate to two victims who were as young as 13 at the time of the offences, but detectives believe there are more victims.

"We certainly want to identify as many of these victims as we can and some of these victims may need some [psychological] assistance," Insp. Edwards said.

Police are appealing for anyone who may have been contacted by the man to contact the Maroochydore Child Protection and Investigation Unit.

"It's certainly a bit of a wake up call to us all with young children … that this type of (activity) is going on," Insp. Edwards said.

The accused will face Maroochydore Magistrates Court next month.

(Source)


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