Edgeworth man behind bars convicted on multiple sex abuse charges

An Edgeworth man has been sentenced to six years behind bars, convicted with multiple sexual abuse charges including against a woman and a child.

Australian Federal Police have been investigating the 44-year-old man since November 2020 under the nationwide Operation Arkstone, a large-scale child protection operation.

The man was arrested on 17 December 2020 when a search warrant at his residential address saw multiple electronic devices seized.

Police examined the devices and found conversations of a sexual nature with children, as well as the distribution of intimate images of a woman without her consent.

He was initially charged with two counts of distributing intimate images without consent, but further investigations allegedly identified the man producing, transmitting and soliciting child abuse material, as well as engaging in highly sexualised conversations about children and animals.

AFP Detective Senior Constable Joanna Kolodziej said the extensive network uncovered through Operation Arkstone had highlighted just how diverse these offenders were, with many of them coming from well-respected and unsuspecting backgrounds.

“No individual, especially a child, should ever have to endure any form of abuse and violence from someone who holds high positions of trust in their lives and I urge the public to come forward and report any suspicious behaviour,’’ Detective Senior Constable Joanna Kolodziej said.

“The impacts of sexual offences are devastating and long-lasting on victims and their families, which is why the AFP will continue to be relentless in our identification and prosecution of these abusers.”

The man pleaded guilty to six charges in Newcastle Local Court yesterday and was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of three years.