A Gold Coast man who works with children as a volunteer for a number of local organisations has been charged with almost a dozen child sex offences.
The 21-year-old man from Coomera was taken into custody on Tuesday after being located coaching a local children’s sporting team.
His arrest comes after child abuse detectives launched an investigation on May 31, after receiving a tip-off from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in America.
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“It will be alleged that the man was in possession of several hundred Gigabytes of child exploitation material and had been involved in a range of online secure messaging platforms sharing images with other child sex offenders,” Queensland Police said.
Detectives seized a number of devices from the man’s Coomera home, which will now be forensically examined.
The man, who has been released on strict bail conditions, has been charged with five counts of possessing child exploitation material.
He is also facing three counts of using a carriage service to access child abuse material and two counts of using a carriage service to make available child abuse material.
He’s set to appear at the Beenleigh Magistrates Court on June 30.
Police have revealed that the man was a volunteer who was working with children for a number of organisations, with investigations into his positions ongoing.
“Police have contacted the organisations and are working with management to identify the extent of his involvement with children,” Queensland Police said.
“At this time there is no evidence that the man has offended against any child, but investigations remain ongoing.”
Detective Inspector Glen Donaldson of the Child Abuse and Sexual Crime Group’s unit Argos said this case highlights the importance of parents and caregivers taking active and ongoing measures around the safety of their children.
“Supervision and communication are key to prevention. We encourage parents and guardians to speak with their children about what to do if they feel uncomfortable about any behaviour and how they can report that behaviour,” Detective Inspector Donaldson said.
“Children must know that nothing is so serious or embarrassing that they can’t approach a trusted adult for support and to report behaviour that makes them feel uncomfortable.”
Detective Inspector Donaldson said that every day, Argos has undercover officers working in a range of online platforms.
“The Queensland Police Service remains committed to targeting offenders involved in the sexual exploitation of children and the possession or distribution of child exploitation material.
“This is not a victimless crime. These images have been created through the abuse of real children and anyone involved in possessing or distributing these images continues this cycle of victimisation.
“To those that seek to engage in this predatory behaviour, remember that everything you do online leaves a trace and the Queensland Police Service are relentless in targeting anyone involved in this crime”.
If you are in immediate danger call 000 now. If you require advice or assistance, the following services offer counselling and support:
Lifeline 24/7 telephone crisis support 13 11 14
1800RESPECT 24/7 phone 1800 737 732
Gold Coast Centre Against Sexual Violence phone 07 5591 1164
Bravehearts phone 1800 272 831