When the hidden-denied reasons behind your childhood of multifaceted #childsexualabuse becomes known more clearly, what’s holding you back from responding alike “the reason I’ve grown so f-ed up, is due to your f-ing parent-church-school-club you took me through”?! #nrs💣
Amongst the growing amount of public acknowledgment, that ‘those foreign cases of #childabuse’ are in fact happening within their own neighbourhood, at their own school, or ‘worst still’ to their own children – it’s understandable that some parent’s concerns won’t be for that safety of their own victimised child, but for themselves to be able to reclaim “wasted monies”. As we now live in a consumerist society, occasionally we hear of broken families, where their sole-concern is in filling their own hip pockets with some of that 💰, as fractures often occur in these horse-or-cart structures. (Experienced Satire)
As examples of some Private/Elite schools in Brisbane who’ve offered out some damages-compensation-(not hush money), here are some examples + links:
- Brisbane Grammar abuse victims push for tuition fee refund
- Child abuse royal commission: Anglican Church to refund school fees to victims of sexual abuse at schools in Brisbane diocese
- ‘A refund for faulty service’: Private school repays school fees following sexual abuse of student
- CARC dealing with Schools
As these were just a handful of examples of how a church-founded country of Australia, can be dealing with immersed control of a tax-free body, whilst still battling for equal rights of colonial-Indigenous after-effects – there are many more layers to unpack!
In 1977, the then Sydney-based provincial of the Catholic brotherhood St John of God, Brother Brian O’Donnell, received an anonymous letter bearing disturbing news. The prior and one of the brothers at Marylands, the order’s school for students with intellectual disabilities in New Zealand, were sexually abusing a boy, the letter alleged.
Pausing at that moment now, as O’Donnell’s eyes flicker across the words on the page, there is an opportunity for dozens of children to avoid their fate, for boys who will later die by suicide to become grandfathers, and countless unhappy lives to take a different trajectory.
The junior brother mentioned in the letter was Bernard McGrath, who went on to become the most notorious perpetrator of child sexual abuse among religious orders in Australia and New Zealand and possibly the most prolific. When the letter arrived he had just been promoted by the prior, Rodger Moloney, whose role only emerged in detail in a report into abuse in care by a New Zealand royal commission last week. He was McGrath’s mentor.
But O’Donnell was disinclined to believe the allegations.
“I thought it was a trouble-causing letter,” he would tell Catholic Church Insurance Limited years later.
“I didn’t think it was based on fact and I thought it was members of staff at our school in Christchurch trying to get the brothers moved on.”
But O’Donnell did not do nothing. Moloney, an Australian, was his close friend and due shortly to be seconded to the Vatican to apply his original training as a pharmacist. O’Donnell allowed this appointment to go ahead. He applied with McGrath what became known as the “geographic cure” and transferred him to Kendall Grange, a boys’ home run by the order at Morisset Park on the NSW Central Coast.
Then O’Donnell boarded a plane to Christchurch. By this time he had received a second letter containing similar allegations and he brought with him a sample “in the hope that we could identify what I would call disguised handwriting”, he later told the insurers. Moloney – who had already departed for Rome – had previously arranged samples from each of the staff.
O’Donnell’s time in Christchurch appeared on the evidence before the royal commission to have been predominantly spent substantiating his “trouble-causing” theory. He did not conduct any interviews. One brother, who had been waiting until Moloney left to raise his suspicions about McGrath, brought his concerns to O’Donnell and was told to “leave it with me”. O’Donnell also spent some time examining the rolls to see if any boys’ parents lived in the suburbs identified on the letter, but none matched.
On his return to Sydney he wrote to Moloney in an avuncular mood.
“I am sure you would be pleased to hear from me that, after careful inquiries into the allegations made in regards to Marylands, I am convinced they were completely unfounded,” he wrote. “More than that, I am sure they are the work of a ruthless and vindictive member of the teaching staff. You need have no further concern about that matter … It was good to hear your voice on the phone the other night.”
He also destroyed the letters – “because of the harm they could do”, he later explained.
But New Zealand’s royal commission would hear that the sexual abuse at Marylands went well beyond the allegations made in the anonymous letters.
One in five former students claims to have been abused, with 74 complaints against McGrath and 32 against Moloney. More than half the brothers who ministered in the Christchurch community had specific allegations of child sexual abuse made against them. A caregiver told the royal commission it was common for staff to have to apply cream medication for anal fissures.
On several occasions students disclosed to Moloney that they had been abused by other brothers, only to find nothing was done and the abuse worsened.
One former student, who was repeatedly abused by McGrath, said McGrath and Moloney were close and he would often see them emerge from a bedroom together. One night he alleged he was plucked from his bed and they attempted to abuse him, but he would not stay still – so McGrath whacked him with the plastic baseball bat he always kept nearby.
Another survivor claimed McGrath and Moloney normalised sexual abuse, and it later became common between the boys as well.
“The brothers made us perform sexual acts on each other,” he alleged. “This included sexual fondling and oral sex. At the time I thought this must be what boarding school was like because it was so common and normal at Marylands. Looking back at it now, I realise this isn’t normal behaviour.”
McGrath would become a notorious paedophile on both sides of the Tasman. He is currently serving two prison sentences for more than 100 child sex offences relating to his time at Kendall Grange, where he rose to become the head of the school. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found 40 per cent of the brothers at Kendall Grange were child sex offenders.
But decades later McGrath would claim and receive $100,000 compensation from the order for the sexual abuse perpetrated by Moloney.
It was more than many of the child victims would receive.
Moloney spent six months in the Vatican before being transferred to Papua New Guinea, where he sat on the order’s Oceania provincial council, administering Australia, New Zealand and PNG. In the late 1990s he was transferred to Kendall Grange.
When the New Zealand government sought his extradition to face 30 charges of sexual abuse against 11 minors in 2003, the order’s lawyers spent three years and an estimated $1 million fighting for him to stay in Australia. After serving nine months of a 33-month sentence in New Zealand he returned to Australia and was welcomed back into the order. He died in their care in 2019.
The New Zealand royal commission found the order had missed a clear opportunity to respond to reports of abuse by Moloney and McGrath in 1977. McGrath was convicted of sexually abusing dozens of intellectually disabled children in his care over five trials in New Zealand and Australia between 1993 and 2019.
“Had the order taken appropriate action at that time, later prolific offending by these two brothers could have been prevented,” the commission reported.
It also queried the rationale for a $100,000 payment to McGrath in 2012 over the abuse he had been subjected to by Moloney and another brother in the 1970s. “The terms of the settlement were confidential and we were given no documents by the order that would explain the basis for a payment of this size, or why the payment was higher than many of [those] his victims received.”
A spokesman for the Brothers of St John of God said the order was considering the findings and was committed to participating in any redress scheme. “SJOG fully supported the inquiry and participated voluntarily when requested,” he said.
Posted Tue 1 Aug 2023 at 11:06amTuesday 1 Aug 2023 at 11:06am, updated Thu 3 Aug 2023 at 10:14amThursday 3 Aug 2023 at 10:14am
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A former childcare worker has been charged with 1,623 child abuse offences against 91 children, police have revealed.
- The AFP says the offences occurred at childcare centres in Brisbane, Sydney and overseas
- Police will allege all offences were against pre-pubescent girls
- The AFP is “highly confident” all 87 Australian children involved have been identified
A Gold Coast man, 45, has been charged with 136 counts of rape and 110 counts of sexual intercourse with a child under 10.
An investigation involving the Australian Federal Police (AFP) as well as Queensland and New South Wales police led to the arrest of the man for offences committed in Brisbane, Sydney and overseas between 2007 and 2022.
He has been in custody in Queensland since August 2022 when the AFP arrested and charged him with two counts of making child exploitation material and one count of using a carriage service for child abuse material.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Justine Gough said the man recorded all offences on his phone and cameras and authorities are “highly confident” all children recorded in Australia have been identified.
“The process of identification took time, skill and determination,” she said.
Assistant Commissioner Gough said a search warrant was executed at a Brisbane childcare centre on August 20 last year and the man was arrested the next day.
Police seized devices at the man’s Gold Coast home that contained a large amount of child abuse material.
Assistant Commissioner Gough said the details of investigation Operation Tenterfield would be “deeply distressing” for the community.
“I am cognisant investigations like these can be re-traumatising for survivors of sexual abuse and loved ones,” she said.
The AFP alleges the abuse occurred at 10 childcare centres in Brisbane between 2007 and 2013 and also between 2018 to 2022, at an overseas location between 2013 and 2014, and at one centre in Sydney between 2014 and 2017.
Assistant Commissioner Gough said the AFP alleges that all the children offended against were pre-pubescent girls.
“We allege the 45-year-old man from the Gold Coast recorded all his alleged offending on his phone and cameras. The AFP is highly confident that all 87 Australian children who were recorded in the alleged child abuse material have been identified.
“The Australian children recorded in the alleged child abuse material have been informed of the investigation. Some of the individuals identified in the alleged child abuse material are now aged 18 years and have been informed.”
The AFP is working with an overseas law enforcement jurisdiction to determine the identity of four children who were allegedly offended against at an overseas location, Assistant Commissioner Gough said.
Within hours of the man’s initial arrest last year, further alleged child abuse material was identified on the man’s electronic devices, she said.
Children identified from thousands of images
The operation focused in part on identifying the children in the alleged child abuse material.
“In September 2022, the AFP coordinated a joint agency task force with the Queensland Police Service at the AFP led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation to review nearly 4,000 images and videos the man had allegedly created,” she said.
“The man worked at other childcare centres but the AFP is highly confident the man did not allegedly offend at those centres.
“Law enforcement has been working very closely with all the relevant childcare centres for the past year, and we thank them for their cooperation.”
Assistant Commissioner Gough said up to 35 members had been involved in Operation Tenterfield since August 2022. She said the operation was “complex” and required “highly skilled victim identification specialists”.
The operation commenced after the Queensland Police Service located alleged child abuse images and videos on the dark web in 2014.
Queensland police posted them on an international victim identification database seeking assistance from the global victim identification community.
Assistant Commissioner Gough described the alleged offending over 15 years as “chilling news”.
Sexual assault support services:
- Queensland Sexual Assault Helpline Queensland: 1800 010 120
- 1800RESPECT national helpline: 1800 737 732
- Sexual Assault Counselling Australia: 1800 211 028
- Bravehearts (support for child sexual abuse survivors): 1800 272 831
- Centre Against Sexual Violence: (07) 3808 3299
- MARS Australia (for men affected by rape and sexual abuse): (07) 3857 1222
She said the AFP and other agencies examined about 4,000 images, but they contained few distinguishable clues for investigators to follow.
“But in August 2022, the AFP was able to trace objects identified in the background of the alleged images and videos posted on the dark web between 2013 and 2014, to a Brisbane childcare centre,” Assistant Commissioner Gough said.
“Following inquiries with the childcare centre, the AFP executed a search warrant on the 20th of August 2022 in Brisbane, and arrested the man in Brisbane’s south-western suburbs about 1am on the 21st of August.
“He was charged with making and distributing child abuse material that was allegedly posted on the dark web.”
The AFP then searched the man’s Gold Coast home and seized electronic devices allegedly containing child abuse material created by the man.
“Given there was so many alleged images and videos of children that were recorded over 15 years … on the alleged offenders devices, the process of identification took time, skill and determination.
“There is not much solace I can give parents and children who have been identified under Operation Tenterfield, but I can tell you we never gave up and we never will when it comes to protecting children.”
NSW Police will seek the alleged offender’s extradition to NSW in relation to 180 charges of child sexual abuse against 23 children.
NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Michael Fitzgerald said those charges carried life imprisonment.
“Once this man faces the AFP charges here in Queensland, we will be seeking his extradition back to New South Wales.”
The man’s case is scheduled for a mention in Brisbane Magistrates Court on August 21.
Posted 1 Aug 20231 Aug 2023, updated 3 Aug 2023
This article is more than 3 months old
Judge finds Australian Catholic order should not benefit from its ‘own inaction’ in not speaking to known abuser before he died
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@knauscFri 5 May 2023 12.56 AEST
A Catholic order has lost its latest attempt to use the death of a known paedophile clergy member to shield itself from allegations of child sexual abuse after a judge found that allowing such a course would “bring the administration of justice into disrepute”.
In recent months, the Guardian has revealed how the Catholic church, in particular its Marist Brothers and Christian Brothers orders, is increasingly using the deaths of clergy members to argue for permanent stays of cases brought by abuse survivors in the civil courts.
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The church, which for decades covered up sexual abuse and thwarted justice for victims and survivors, has been emboldened by a win in New South Wales’s highest court last year, which found a perpetrator’s death made a fair trial impossible.
In a more recent case, the Marist Brothers argued that the death of notorious paedophile Brother Francis “Romuald” Cable rendered it unable to fairly defend itself from a civil claim by a survivor known by the pseudonym of Mark Peters, because it can no longer call Cable as a witness.
The Marist Brothers made that argument despite the fact that Cable was alive for 22 months after Peters first notified it of his claim. After learning of Peters’s claim in October 2020, it did nothing to seek a response from Cable before he died in September 2022. Cable was 88 years old and behind bars when the Marist Brothers learned of the impending case.
On Friday, the NSW supreme court rejected the church’s attempts to use Cable’s death to justify a permanent stay.
“The defendant should not, in my view, have the benefit of its own inaction,” justice Nicholas Chen found.
“The defendant’s alleged inability to meaningfully deal with the claim is, I find, a product of its own unreasonable failure to attempt to make contact with Cable, and to take steps to secure his evidence.
“In my view, to accept otherwise would, adopting what was said by [former chief justice Thomas Bathurst], ‘itself bring the administration of justice into disrepute’.”
Court documents allege the Marist Brothers have known of abuse complaints against Cable since 1967, but concealed his crimes from police and other authorities for decades and instead shuffled him between its schools, where he continued to abuse children.
The Marist Brothers argued to the court that it didn’t seek a response from Cable to Peters’s allegations while he was alive because he had earlier rebuffed them in 2015 and said he did not want to have any more contact with the order’s leadership team.
But the court rejected that submission for five separate reasons. It found that 2015 was a particularly sensitive time for Cable, given he had just been convicted for child abuse and was awaiting sentence, meaning he may have been more likely to want to talk five years later, if the Marist Brothers had attempted to contact him again.
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The court also found that Cable may have been willing to talk to a lawyer or investigator, rather than a member of Marist’s leadership team.
Cable had also subsequently pleaded guilty to a raft of other child abuse charges in the period after the Marist Brothers approached him in 2015. He knew he would likely be in jail until he died, the court found. That “suggests that Cable, if contacted, may well have agreed to discuss what happened to the plaintiff”.
“At an absolute minimum, I consider that the defendant should have attempted – on an ongoing basis – contact with Cable following the letter notifying the defendant of the plaintiff’s intent to commence proceedings in 2020, and those steps should have been intensified once proceedings had been commenced,” Chen ruled.
“As it happens, nothing was done by the defendant to ascertain whether Cable would speak to them, their lawyers or investigators about the plaintiff’s claim.
“I do not accept that the defendant can simply stand back and do nothing, which is what has occurred here.”
It is unclear whether the Marist Brothers will attempt to appeal the ruling. But the win allows Peters to proceed with his case and either agree to a settlement or take it to trial.
Posted Fri 19 Mar 2021 at 12:33pmFriday 19 Mar 2021 at 12:33pm, updated Fri 19 Mar 2021 at 11:30pmFriday 19 Mar 2021 at 11:30pm
The school captain of one of Brisbane’s top private boys’ schools has called on his peers to put an end to rape culture and be proactive in stopping the sexual assault and harassment of women.
- Brisbane Boys’ College captain Mason Black made a powerful speech to his peers
- The Queensland government has ordered a review of how sexual consent is taught in both independent and state schools
- Queensland public and private schools were named in anonymous testimonies about sexual assault in an online viral petition
Brisbane Boys College (BBC) captain Mason Black made the resounding speech in front of peers on Thursday, calling on them to “accept this injustice against women and stand up for what is right”.
It follows thousands of Australian students anonymously detailing harrowing accounts of rape and sexual assault on a viral petition calling for sexual consent to be taught earlier in schools.
The petition was launched by former Kamabala student Chanel Contos.
BBC was among the Queensland public and private schools identified on the petition in testimonies from young women.
A video of Mr Black’s speech calling for a change in culture at the college and broader society, has attracted about 260,000 views on Instagram and tens of thousands on Facebook.
In his speech, Mr Black revealed his mother had been sexually abused at just 10-years of age.
“Are you brave enough to ask your mum about her experiences? What about your sisters? Friends?” he said.
“I wish I grew up in an Australia where the narrative that one in three women will be physically or sexually abused at some point in their life wasn’t true, but it is.”
It comes as the Queensland government undertakes a review of sexual consent education in both public and independent schools across the state.
‘It’s on all of us’
Mr Black also made reference to NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller’s idea for an app to record sexual consent.
“What you really need is a basic acceptance and respect, and that, boys, is on all of us,” he said.
“Boys, if a woman wants to say ‘no’, and she says ‘no’, we have to listen, understand and accept this.”
Mr Black said the deeply-ingrained rape culture within society needed to be addressed.
“As good as this message is coming from public speakers or staff, it’s up to us, the boys.
“They need to accept this injustice against women and stand up for what is right.”
‘You are part of the problem’
He said it made him feel “sick” and “embarrassed” that the school had been named in the testimonies.
Sexual assault support services:
- 1800 Respect national helpline: 1800 737 732
- Lifeline (24 hour crisis line): 131 114
- Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
“I feel so ashamed that this issue is a part of our history and our culture.
“I feel ashamed that the action of some reflects poorly on us all, but realistically it isn’t just those who are mentioned in the media.
“If you have ever objectified a woman based on her looks, talked about females in a misogynistic way, or taken advantage without consent, you are part of the problem.
“Seemingly harmless comments can have such devastating effects.”
He called on his peers to “stop being boys” and “be human”.
“Every person in this room must not just be an advocate for equality, but in our every action and deed we have to be proactive in stopping the abuse.”
‘Keep your mates accountable’
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The student called on his peers to put an end to slurs and derogatory comments, to stand up to “any man” if they see it happening, and keep their mates accountable.
“Each and every one of us have an obligation to each other to not follow the ways of the past, and to take our future on a new path,” he said.
The speech was lauded on social media for inspiring a change in culture but drew some criticism that the same attitudes were not held among his peers.
One 16-year-old Brisbane schoolgirl, Anya, voiced her frustration that the speech had received so much praise “over the voices of millions of women around the world, some of whom in recent weeks have had the courage to be vulnerable when sharing their past experiences with sexual assault”.
“It’s been widely recognised a massive part of the problem is the way men are praised for doing the bare minimum yet women are compelled to overcompensate for their lack to “keep them safe”, her post on Instagram said.
Posted 19 Mar 202119 Mar 2021, updated 19 Mar 2021
Our most recent snapshot of both Views + Visitors, over the past 2 weeks/14 days. It’s great that more realistic concerns are being dealt with.
An explosive new website names hundreds of Australian schools where students say there’s a disturbing problem.
4 min read
Chanel Contos speaks with TODAY after her petition to change consent education in schools went viral.
Thousands of students from across every part of Australia have spoken out about a chilling culture of normalised rape and sexual assault – as pressure grows for systemic change.
Since being overwhelmed by the response to her petition – calling for earlier and more holistic sexual education lessons – Sydneysider Chanel Contos has received more than 4000 testimonies from students in South Australia, Western Australia, Victoria, Queensland, the ACT and NSW.
Overnight, she launched a website where the disturbing accounts are beginning to be made public for the first time.
There are already more than 1500 testimonies on the website – and many of them bear eerie similarities to the vile stories that emerged from Sydney schoolsshortly after the petition first went live.
In many of the freshly-uploaded accounts, students say they were raped while unconscious at parties or woke up to being touched by someone inappropriately.
MELBOURNE SCHOOLS MENTIONED
Many of the new testimonies come from Melbourne schools, where students say there is a similar culture to the chauvinistic club-like mentality reported in some Sydney all-boys schools in the initial testimonies.
One former student at Carey Grammar School said she was 16 and at a party when she smoked her first joint and passed out on a bed.
“I thought I’d be safe as the host went to my school,” she said, recounting the incident in 2012. “Instead he came in and got into bed with me.”
She said the boy then started digitally penetrating her, and wouldn’t stop even though she repeatedly asked him to.
She said a friend of the boy entered the room and “joined in” – before spreading rumours around the school about the victim’s body.
“When I told my ex boyfriend a few years later he told me I asked for it and shouldn’t have laid down,” she said. “There’s so much wrong to this story.”
In another testimony, a former Firbank Grammar School student said she and her mates were invited to a “massive party of about 500 people” when she was in year 9.
“It was one of my first experiences drinking a lot and I was vomiting at the back of the party and going in and out of consciousness,” she said. “I don’t remember anything but the next day I found an Instagram picture of me passed out next to my vomit with a guy I don’t know with his hands up my dress.”
She said the St Kevin’s College student’s friends took pictures and posted them online.
“I reported the photo every day for a long time before it was removed and it still terrifies me that lots of people I don’t know have that photo,” she said. “I also don’t know what else was done to me that night because I don’t remember.”
‘RAPE CULTURE’ BEING EXPOSED
The disturbing accounts are just some of hundreds that have been uploaded overnight, and Ms Contos told news.com.au that thousands more will be uploaded soon.
“I’m really excited that this is reaching different states because once these stories start coming out in other parts of the country, I think we will see the same response we’ve seen in NSW,” she said.
“The more people that come forward, the more it will help the cause and it will expose the rape culture in our society.”
Private Sydney schools in particular were mentioned time and time again in the initial testimonies, and Ms Contos said she was already seeing positive signs that schools and MPs in the city were taking the petition seriously.
She is meeting with several headmasters in the schools mentioned tomorrow as well as Liberal MP for Wentworth Dave Sharma – who has thrown his support behind the campaign.
“As the response to this petition makes clear, we’ve all got to do better in educating our children, at home and in our schools,” Mr Sharma said.
PARENTS PULL STUDENTS OUT OF PRIVATE SCHOOLS
As the pressure grows for systemic change, it’s clear some parents aren’t willing to wait.
Some of those who sent their boys to Sydney private schools mentioned in the petition have spoken out, and some have reportedly sent their children to other schools.
One father of a year 9 student at Kings School in Parramatta told the Sun-Heraldelite schools cultivated a culture of entitlement and privilege, which he said leads to a lack of “sensitivity” towards others.
“They teach these kids they’re the best, they’re the chosen ones, they’re going to run Australia, they’re going to conquer the world,” he said.
The parent said he chose the private school for his son to give him a better chance, but worried he and his wife would struggle to teach the child to be empathetic towards others.
News.com.au has contacted the school for comment.
MELBOURNE SCHOOLS RESPOND
Meanwhile, Melbourne schools mentioned in the new testimonies have expressed their concern.
The body representing some of Melbourne’s most prestigious Catholic schools – including St Kevin’s College, Parade College, St Mary’s College, St Joseph’s College and St Bernard’s College – said the petition had pushed them to take action and signalled they would work with parents to address the issue.
“The powerful testimonies provided by the many young women in the online petition are disturbing and are an indictment on societal decency,” said Edmund Rice Education Australia executive director Dr Craig Wattam.
“All of us – schools, families, and the broader community – must carefully consider and revisit issues pertaining to sex education.
“More specifically, sexual consent education is required for both young men and women and we need to be providing this education in early adolescence.”
News.com.au has also reached out to Carey Grammar School for comment.
To sign the petition, visit Ms Contos’ new website
- Published23 October 2020
Australian police have arrested 44 men across the nation on suspicion of possessing and producing child abuse material.
Sixteen children had been “removed from harm” in the process, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said.
The arrests followed a year-long investigation into images and videos that were shared online.
Arrests of the suspects – all aged between 19 and 57 – were made in every Australian state.
Police laid a total of 350 charges, all related to possessing or producing child exploitation material.
The men had allegedly used a cloud storage platform to share the abuse. The AFP described some evidence as among “the most abhorrent produced”.
Commissioner Reece Kershaw said identifying and rescuing victims was a “race against time” in such cases.
“Pixel by pixel, our investigators painstakingly look for clues and never give up,” he said.
Hundreds of police and other specialists worked on the operation across Australia’s states and territories.
The arrests numbered 11 in Victoria, 11 in Queensland, nine in South Australia, eight in New South Wales, seven in Western Australia, five in Tasmania and one in the Australian Capital Territory.
The suspects worked in industries including construction, transport, law enforcement and hospitality.
“Children are not commodities and the AFP and its partner agencies work around-the-clock to identify and prosecute offenders,” Mr Kershaw said.
The AFP said it had rescued 134 children from child exploitation this year, including 67 who were not in Australia.
A teacher at an elite school viewed “sadistic” videos for sexual gratification, including children forced into sexual acts under gunpoint.
May 11, 2023 – 3:29PM NCA NewsWire
A senior teacher at one of Sydney’s most prestigious schools used his work laptop to access a stash of “depraved” child abuse images.
Cody Michael Reynolds, 37, will spend the next 18 months behind bars after being sentenced at Downing Centre Court on Tuesday, more than a year after he was stood down from a prestigious role at Moriah College in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, where parents pay about $35,000 a year.
Police arrested Reynolds following a raid of his inner city home in March 2022. Officers uncovered a cache of child abuse material on multiple devices and online storage service Megalcoud, including at least 1000 child abuse images and 50 videos.
Investigators uncovered a further 111 images and six videos on Reynolds’ iPhone in a folder hidden on the phone’s camera roll as well as nine images and two videos on his work-assigned laptop.
Cody Michael Reynolds, the former head of English at Moriah College, arrives for sentencing on child abuse material charges. Picture: Simon Bullard
Judge Phillip Mahoney told the court the material was “depraved” and showed mostly pre-pubescent males and females aged between 9-16 masturbating or performing sex acts, including with adults.
“The material included sadistic material where children are engaged in sexual activity under gunpoint,” Justice Mahoney said. “In another, a four year old was forced to put his hand on the penis of an older boy.”
The court was told Reynolds used multiple aliases to share child abuse material with users through a concealed WhatsApp application, including an explicit conversation with a user called Xavier about “playing with young boys”.
“The offender transferred videos to a like-minded user encouraging their own gratification,” Justice Mahoney said.
“He deliberately used a sophisticated method, including end-to-end inscription, to minimise detection.”
Cody Reynolds formerly served as head of English at Moriah College.
Reynolds pleaded guilty late last year to using a carriage service to transmit, publish, or promote child abuse material and using a carriage service to possess or control child abuse material.
At the time of his arrest, Reynolds was head of English at Moriah College, a coeducational Modern Jewish Orthodox private school, but was stood down by the elite school within 24-hours of his arrest at his Surry Hills home.
During sentencing, the court was told how Reynold went from being a high-flying teacher presenting his academic studies in Australia and overseas to consuming child abuse material.
“Reynolds would avoid going home to his partner and would instead sit in the storeroom of his apartment building drinking and viewing the child abuse material,” Justice Mahoney told the court.
“He used it to cope with negative emotions (…) rather than develop healthy coping mechanisms.”
Justice Mahoney said Reynolds had “done everything” to seek out rehabilitation after being charged,
Cody Reynolds used his work laptop to access a stash of ‘depraved’ child abuse images. Picture: Damian Shaw
The 37-year-old was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder at 21 and later with PTSD following his arrest.
Reynolds “acknowledged in hindsight” the emotional harm that the offending had caused to children depicted in the videos.
The court was also told Reynolds had not met the criteria for a pedophilic disorder and co-operated with police following his arrest.
He was joined in court by his family, who had relocated to Sydney to support him.
Reynolds was sentenced to a total prison term of two years and 10 months.
But Justice Mahoney ordered that he be eligible for release from November 2024.
After that time, he will be required to pay $1000 and continue with rehabilitation treatment.