Teacher, sport coach charged over child porn material
Police are appealing for potential victims to come forward after a prominent private school teacher and sporting coach was allegedly found in possession of child exploitation material.
Senior Water Polo Queensland official and coach Dean Carelse has immediately been suspended from the organisation after police raided his Mooloolaba home on Saturday where a number of items were seized.
The Courier-Mail can reveal 40-year-old Mr Carelse has been charged with possessing and distributing child exploitation material.
"The man is a former teacher at a Sunshine Coast private school and current coach within a major water sports association," a police spokeswoman said.
"Detectives are appealing for anyone who may have had interactions with the man or know of any potential victims to come forward with further information."
Water Polo Queensland has issued a statement to its club members advising Carelse had been immediately suspended from his position at the Game Development and Competitions Officer for the Sunshine Coast "because he has been charged with serious criminal offences".
"There is nothing to indicate that any child associated with WPQ has been harmed," Water Polo Queensland CEO Melanie Woosnam wrote in an email to members.
"WPQ would like to reassure all of our members that the safety and welfare of our junior members is of paramount importance and safeguarding our people remains our priority.
"WPQ are committed to continuing to provide the support necessary to ensure the protection and wellbeing of all children within our sport."
Ms Woosnam urged concerned parents to contact the Sunshine Coast Child Protection Unit.
It's understood Carelse was only appointed to the position with WPQ in January when the club issued a glowing statement saying it was "delighted" to announce his new role.
"As a former South African National Inter-Provincial schoolboy player and Men's Provincial Premier League Player, Dean has played at a National level and has also coached and managed South African School boys teams and national junior provincial teams as well as refereeing at national level events," the statement, which has since been removed from the club's website, says.
"Dean has previously held roles as the CEO for South African Provincial Water Polo, as provincial president, as Water Polo League Co-ordinator in two provinces and director at three institutions managing competitions and recruiting new players and conducting developing programs.
"He also has experience organising national tournaments, competitions and some of the largest water polo leagues in South Africa."
The club statement said for the past two years, Carelse had been residing on the Sunshine Coast where he was an active member of the Sunshine Coast Water Polo club.
"He is currently President of the Sunshine Coast School Sport Water Polo Committee and during the past two years Dean has coached SCWP junior representative teams from U12s through to U18s that have participated in the WPQ State Titles, WPA Australian Youth Water Polo Championships and local BWPI competition," the statement said.
"He has also held state coaching roles with the Qld Boys 14&Us as well as Coach of the Qld Country Men's team.
"WPQ welcomes Dean to this new role and particularly the opportunity to work closely with the Sunshine Coast Water Polo Association, Clubs, schools and other key stakeholders to grow and develop a unified, sustainable and successful base for water polo on the Sunshine Coast and surrounding areas."
Carelse is due to face the Maroochydore Magistrates Court on May 5.
Anyone with information should contact PoliceLink 131 444.
Originally published as Private school teacher, sport coach charged over child porn material