Former Sydney teacher pleads guilty to child abuse offences

A 31-year-old Queensland man and former teacher has today pleaded guilty to numerous child sexual abuse offences following an investigation by the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

The AFP NSW Child Protections Operations team investigation began in December 2018 following a referral from the New South Wales Police Force (NSWPF) regarding alleged illegal conduct by an Australian teacher towards two former students based in the UK.

It was alleged the man was sending indecent images and video to the female students under 16 years of age, as well as engaging with them in sexualised chat. The two students made formal complaints to UK authorities, who reached out to Australian authorities for assistance.

On 29 January 2019, with the assistance of the NSWPF Child Exploitation Internet Unit, AFP officers executed a search warrant at the man’s then-residence in Bella Vista, Sydney.

There, authorities seized numerous electronic devices for evidentiary purposes and subsequently arrested and charged the man. The man was later released on strict bail and served with a suspension notice by the NSW Department of Education.

The AFP then laid additional charges following a review of all evidence.

The man, who appeared before the Downing Centre District Court today, pleaded guilty to the following offences:

  • One count of using a carriage service to transmit indecent communication to person under 16 years of age, contrary to section 474.27A of the Criminal Code (Cth);
  • One count of using a carriage service to transmit indecent communication to person under 16 years of age, contrary to section 474.27A of the Criminal Code (Cth); and
  • One count of using a carriage service to solicit child pornography material, contrary to section 474.19 of the Criminal Code (Cth).

The matter has been adjourned and will next appear in court on 18 August 2020.

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