Generic Queensland Police Service.
Generic Queensland Police Service.

‘Disturbing’: Rocky teacher in major child exploitation bust

Six people with 11 child sex offences have been charged by Queensland police as part of a nationally co-ordinated operation targeting high-threat online child sex offenders.

Officers from the State Crime Command's Child Abuse and Sexual Crime Unit, Argos, and local Child Protection and Investigation Units carried out nine search warrants across Queensland as part of the Australia-wide month-long Operation Soutien.

A 38-year-old male senior school teacher from Rockhampton school was among those arrested.

He was charged with possessing and distributing child exploitation material and is due to appear in Rockhampton Magistrates Court on January 15, 2020.

A 31-year-old male from Brisbane was also arrested and charged with using a carriage service to access child abuse material and is due to appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court on December 16.

Material seized during the multiple search warrants will be examined to identify child victims as part of investigations under the national child protection strategy.

Child Abuse and Sexual Crime Group Detective Superintendent Denzil Clark said the operation highlighted the benefits of working in collaboration with interstate and international counterparts.

"Disturbingly, we know child sex offenders will go to extraordinary lengths to exploit children and through upskilling and collaborating with interstate and international counterparts we can ensure our investigators are best placed to track them down," Detective Superintendent Clark said.

Superintendent Clark said the operation was a reminder to all parents to be careful with electronic devices used by their children and ensure that they are aware of their children's online activities.

"Particularly over the school holiday period, supervision for children is critical in preventing self-produced child exploitation material and children being exploited online," he said.

Other Argos arrests during Operation Soutien included, a 41-year-old Tingalpa man, a 34-year-old Kingaroy man, a 64-year-old Labrador man, and a 32-year-old Harristown man.

Queensland police said the operation followed on from three days of intensive, specialist training conducted by the US-based Child Rescue Coalition at Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) facility in Brisbane.



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