A woman whose daughter was taught by a man charged with Australia’s worst-ever child sex abuse has spoken out about the alleged “monster” who hid behind the mask of a kind and passionate carer.
The mother’s young girl was cared for by a 45-year-old man who has been charged with 1,600 child abuse offences spanning two Australian states, one overseas centre and 15 years.
Among the sickening allegations are 136 counts of rape and 110 counts of sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 10, relating to 10 Brisbane childcare centres, one Sydney one and an overseas centre.
Speaking to news.com.au, the woman said she was in disbelief at the horrific offences allegedly committed by someone she simply thought was “great with kids”.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Justine Gough along with QPS Acting Assistant Commissioner Col Briggs at a press conference about the man. Picture: Mohammad Alfares
It is not known if any of the 91 alleged victims were enrolled in the childcare centre the woman’s youngest daughter attended when she was taught by the man.
But the woman learned news of his arrest through a friend whose child attended the last centre he taught at.
“When I realised who it was, I was so shocked, there were just no words,” she said.
“(The man) taught my youngest daughter and she absolutely loved him … There were no signs at all that he was (allegedly) abusing so many kids”.
The man’s lawyer Madeline Wood leaves the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Tertius Pickard
“He seemed really passionate about his job”.
The confidence police have expressed in identifying all 87 Australian children in the alleged child abuse material brought the woman little relief.
“And honestly, even if he didn’t touch my child, how is any parent supposed to trust childcare workers again? He’s (an alleged) monster who was allowed to work in so many places and earn the trust of parents … this (allegedly) went on for so long”.
The man is alleged to have abused 91 kids in Australia and overseas. Picture: Stock image
The woman felt the lack of multi-staff supervision was a wide-reaching issue in the industry, given the man’s alleged abuse occurred over so many centres and spanned 15 years.
“The only way I feel my daughter will be completely safe is if she never attends childcare again, which is just not realistic,” she said.
On the street near several childcare centres the man is believed to have previously worked at, there were no signs such unthinkable breaches of trust were allegedly committed there.
Children were seen laughing in the playgrounds as childcare workers gently guided others inside.
A woman whose daughter was taught by the man said she was shocked at the allegations. Picture: Stock image
Police allege the man abused 91 alleged pre-pubescent girls – all in Australia except for four – between 2007 and 2022.
He has been locked up — having been refused bail — since his arrest in Brisbane’s southwest a year ago.
His case was mentioned at Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday, where the prosecution made a successful bid for it to be adjourned until November, citing the “voluminous” amount of evidence sought in the matter.
According to the Australian Federal Police (AFP), their Queensland counterparts first found alleged child abuse images and videos on the dark web in 2014 but could not lock down any leads.
An alleged breakthrough came in August 2022, when AFP investigators traced objects in the background of one alleged child abuse video to a Brisbane childcare centre where the accused worked.
Police say all parents of the alleged Australian victims have been notified. Picture: Stock image
Following a search of the man’s home and other addresses, police allegedly discovered almost 4,000 child abuse images and videos which he is accused of creating.
The AFP initially arrested him over three child exploitation material charges.
After a year spent investigating, police charged the man with more than 1,600 further offences across Queensland and NSW – some of which relate to people who are now adults.
The Queensland charges allegedly relate to 63 Brisbane children and four overseas kids.
They include 136 counts of rape, more than 600 counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16 and more than 600 counts of making child exploitation material.
The man is also charged with 83 counts of controlling, distributing or obtaining child pornography material outside Australia (and one count of the same charge within Australia) and six counts of possessing child exploitation material.
Separately, the man faces more than 100 charges in NSW allegedly relating to 23 Sydney children under the age of 10. They include 68 counts of sexual intercourse with a child, 42 counts of aggravated sexual intercourse with a child, 69 counts of aggravated indecent assault and one count of producing child abuse material.
While the man was charged by NSW Police in June this year and by the AFP for the huge number of alleged Queensland offences a month later, he is facing the latter ones in court first.
Police previously said they will seek his extradition to NSW once he has faced the judicial system in Queensland.