By Padraig Collins For Daily Mail Australia
03:25 20 Aug 2023, updated 03:25 20 Aug 2023
- Man charged with ‘horrifying’ child abuse offences
- His home was filled with popular toys and figurines
A man who allegedly created a game that simulated sexual abuse against animated child characters operated from a house filled with toys and figurines popular with teenagers.
The 31-year-old man was arrested by police at his home in Geelong, Victoria, on August 2.
Victoria Police and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) allege the man created an online game that attracted a large number of users across the world, who paid for access to it.
A photo of his home issued by the AFP showed a pool table piled with masks and figurines from the video game Halo, along with a Spiderman head.
The AFP’s Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce (CACT) seized two cars, expensive computing and TV equipment and furniture from the man’s house.
The man has been charged with controlling, producing and possessing child abuse material, and dealing with the proceeds of crime.
READ MORE: Bombshell report exposes scale of child abuse in Australia – affecting 1 in 4 kids
The physical, emotional and sexual abuse of children is ‘disturbingly prevalent’ across Australia, triggering calls for urgent government action to protect the nation’s youth.
He is the first alleged online child sex predator in Victoria to be stripped of assets suspected to have been purchased with money made from crime.
The Victorian Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team started its investigation in May when the game was discovered by the Australian Border Force and referred to police.
It is the first time a case in Victoria has focussed on a gaming platform of such an ‘insidious nature’, officers said, and has sparked concerns that it may be a new trend in child sex offending.
‘For someone to create this kind of platform and treat this crime theme as a game, is completely horrifying especially when that person is essentially in our own backyard,’ Victoria Police Commander Paul O’Halloran said.
‘While the material on the platform does not involve live children, it has been created to mimic that and this is clearly of great concern to us.’
CACT Commander Paula Hudson said the assets seizure ‘shows that the AFP will not tolerate anyone trying to cash in on the abuse of children by enabling predators to pay for simulated exploitation of children.
‘We will trace and locate any ill-gotten gains and take them from offenders.’
Investigations are continuing into those who played the game, while the police are working with Australia’s eSafety Commissioner to remove it from the internet.
The 31-year-old man has been released on bail and is scheduled to appear before Geelong Magistrates Court on December 5.