Eight charged with 500 abuse offences against Australian girl
The paedophile ring was smashed last week when detectives in Western Australia arrested the men, aged between 35 and 47, after a tip-off from the public.
They face a total of 503 charges, including sexual penetration of a child under 13, stupefying the girl potentially with drugs or alcohol, sexual servitude, indecently recording abuse and distributing child exploitation material.
As an example of the nature of the alleged offences, police said one man alone was in possession of 200,000 videos and four million images, although they were not only of the Perth teenager. Around 150 pictures and videos were of the girl.
“It’s disgusting material. There’s no words to describe it,” Detective Superintendent Glenn Feeney told reporters in Perth, adding that the 13-year-old was rescued before the men were rounded up.
“The victim is now a 13-year-old child. At the time of the offences alleged she was between the ages of 11 and 13,” he said.
“She was rescued from this horrible situation she was in. She is safe, she is receiving the care that she requires and that will be an ongoing situation.”
The teenager was physically okay when taken away by police, “but psychologically, I can’t answer”, said Feeney.
“She will receive and will need a lot of help from that side of things for a long time, I’d say.”
He added that the girl’s father was among those charged but with the case now before the courts, he would not reveal whether money changed hands, only that he was accused of sharing her with the other men.
“It will be alleged in the courts that each of the other offenders knew the father and it (the abuse) was facilitated by the father,” he said, adding that the men met the girl at various locations.
He refused to comment on the whereabouts of the mother.
The father, who cannot be named to protect his daughter’s identity, was charged with 228 offences. Another of the men charged is reportedly an evangelical preacher.
Police are continuing to sift through the material seized, with Feeney not ruling out further arrests. The men are due to appear in court over the coming days.