A Perth businessman at the centre of one of Western Australia’s largest child abuse investigations has pleaded guilty to 413 charges relating to the sexual abuse of 24 children aged between three and 13.
The 47-year-old man from the southern suburbs, whose name has been suppressed, admitted the offending when he appeared in Perth Magistrates Court via video link from Hakea Prison on Wednesday morning.
He was convicted of multiple charges of indecently dealing with, recording and sexually penetrating children, as well as producing child exploitation material between 2015 and 2021. His victims were known to him through family and friends.
The man only appeared briefly and entered his pleas, before he was remanded to the Perth District Court on June 24.
Police discontinued 11 charges including four counts of stupefying victims to commit offences and abusing a child who was a lineal or defacto relative.
Police arrested the man in July 2021, following a tip-off.
His home and work addresses were searched and multiple computer and storage devices belonging to him were seized, with material on the devices including recordings of the accused abusing children.
At the time, sex crime division Detective Inspector Hamish McKenzie said detectives had needed to examine hundreds of hours of footage and that the images had been extremely distressing.
The possession of child exploitation material, unfortunately, is becoming more common and the amount of images that we constantly seize from persons is becoming significant as well, he said.
Members of the public who have any information about people involved in child exploitation are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or to report it online.