AFP arrests Victorian man accused of sexually abusing boys in Philippines

ONE Victorian man has been arrested and charged, accused of sexually abusing several boys in the Philippines.

The 59-year-old man was arrested by Australian federal police on arrival at Sydney Airport from Singapore on Thursday night. He had been abroad since January 2018.

The Victorian Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (JACET) – which is tasked with combating online exploitation of children – became aware of allegations that the man had abused children abroad during a separate investigation of another Australian citizen.

Investigators later spoke to several boys who claim the man sexually abused them or engaged in sexual activity in their presence in Manila between 2016 and 2020.

They were between nine and 14 years old at the time of the alleged offense.

A Victorian man is accused of sexually abusing several young boys in the Philippines.
A Victorian man is accused of sexually abusing several young boys in the Philippines. Credit: AFP

Police will claim that the man also sent money to a now convicted Philippine child abuse mediator between July and December 2017.

The man has been charged with 12 alleged offenses, including five counts of sexual intercourse with a child outside Australia and four counts of sexual activity with a child outside Australia.

The maximum penalty for these offenses ranges from 20 to 25 years in prison.

He will appear in Sydney Magistrate’s Court on Friday, where police will apply to have him extradited to Victoria.

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We want to ensure that they are caught and face the full extent of the law in Australia

AFP detective acting superintendent Jarrod Ragg said police were aware that the reopening of international borders “is likely to result in travel abroad for children’s sex offenders”.

“AFP and its partners warn these individuals not to test our determination as we want to ensure they are caught and faced with the full extent of the law in Australia.

“Our common goal is to protect children, no matter where they live, and to ensure that everyone who harms them is identified and brought to justice.”

Anyone with information about persons involved in alleged child abuse and exploitation is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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