Newcastle man charged with child sex offendes, bestiality as AFP’s Operation Arkstone dismantles global online ring


A Newcastle man has been charged with child sex offences and bestiality after allegedly being linked to a global online child abuse network.

He is the fifteenth Australian to be arrested as part of Operation Arkstone, a major investigation led by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to dismantle the sex abuse ring.

Alleged offenders include childcare workers, a volunteer soccer coach, a disability support worker through to an electrician, a supermarket employee and a chef.

The 54-year-old has been charged with numerous child abuse material offences and bestiality.

The 54-year-old’s Newcastle home was raided by the Australian Federal Police. (AFP)
He was then arrested and later charged with multiple child abuse offences, including possessing or controlling child abuse material and both transmitting and soliciting child abuse materials on a carriage service. (AFP)

The AFP began investigating earlier this year after a tip-off from the US National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children about an online user allegedly accessing child abuse material.

This alleged offender was arrested in February and social media platforms for sharing child abuse materials were found on his electronic devices.

As further arrests have been made, more evidence has been uncovered and police have been able to identify more offenders.

A 30-year-old man (left) is arrested in Sydney, while AFP officers search a house (right).
One of the alleged offenders (lefT), a 30-year-old man, is arrested in Sydney, while (right), AFP officers search a house. Fifteen Australians have now been charged over the child sex abuse ring, including nine in New South Wales. (AFP)

The Newcastle man’s home in New Lambton Heights was raided by the AFP yesterday, with investigators seizing two mobile phones and his passport.

He is now facing a raft of charges including possessing or controlling child abuse material and both transmitting and soliciting child abuse materials on a carriage service.

There is also a single charge of bestiality with one unspecified animal.

He is scheduled to appear in Newcastle Local Court today.

Detective Superintendent Ben McQuillan said the online network has left investigators appalled.

“Sadly, we have not ruled out the possibility of discovering more child victims to be saved from further abuse,” he said.

Evidence seized during an arrest at Wyong, on the NSW Central Coast.
Evidence seized during an earlier arrest at Wyong on the NSW Central Coast. (AFP)

There have now been well over 800 charges laid as part of the ongoing investigation – ranging from producing child abuse material to bestiality – and 46 Australian children have been rescued from alleged abuse.

The children ranged in age from 16 months to 15 years, with an average age of eight.

Sixteen young people from a single NSW childcare centre were among the alleged victims.



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