WARNING – this story contains graphic content.
A Christchurch businessman has pleaded guilty to 38 charges relating to child sex abuse, including multiple counts of raping a little girl and filming himself.
And shocking details of his offending can now be published including how he set up cameras throughout his house to film the child from intimate angles and while he abused her.
And it can be reported that he “engaged with other paedophiles online” and amassed a cache of at least 180,000 images of baby and child exploitation and bestiality.
But his name and other details will remain secret until he is sentenced in February.
The man, in his 50s, appeared before Judge Peter Rollo in the Christchurch District Court this afternoon.
He admitted five charges of raping a child and 33 other charges including multiple counts of unlawful sexual connection, of performing an indecent act on a child, representative charges of making and possessing objectionable publications and a final charge of unlawful sexual conduct with a child outside of New Zealand.
A representative charge means police believe a person has committed multiple offences of the same type in similar circumstances.
All charges related to a girl who was under the age of 12 at the time of the offending.
The objectionable material charges relate to the man making videos of various lengths, including one nearly six minutes long which allegedly shows him raping the girl.
The court granted the Herald access to the police summary of facts which spans 19 pages and outlines the man’s repeated and regular abuse of the child.
The details of that document could not be published until after today’s hearing.
Police said “almost immediately” after coming to know the child he began to groom her with “the intention of creating a safe environment for him to offend”.
“(He) regularly engaged in behaviour with sexually motivated intentions,” said police.
“He also engaged in playing board games with the victim … with enticements of reward for sexually gratifying him.
“(He) set up multiple cameras throughout his dwelling which enabled him to covertly film the victim, capturing everything she did. The footage from these cameras included audio.
“The cameras were positioned to capture normal activity involving the victim such as eating breakfast … but were focused to capture her underwear.
“Other cameras were positioned to capture the victim in the toilet and shower.”
All of the offending happened in the man’s home and police said the abuse became so frequent that it “became routine and normalised” for the little girl.
The details of the offending in the summary are extremely specific and graphic and the Herald has chosen not to publish the full detail.
But the offending includes the man touching himself and touching or violating the child in various ways -often while she was playing video games and distracted.
Sometimes the offender’s own child was in the room close by when the abuse occurred.
Many times when the little girl stayed at his home overnight he would go into her room and abuse or violate her while she slept.
During one rape he told the girl “this is our big secret” and ordered her to say she “loved it”.
A cache of child exploitation material uncovered by police
When police arrested the man in June they executed a search warrant at his home.
Officers found 81 “digital exhibits” including hard drives, laptops, memory cards and other electronic devices.
A full forensic examination was carried out and “significant child sex exploitation material” was found.
“The analysis of these devices showed that the defendant had recorded all of the offending (against the girl) in video and image form,” police stated.
“In total there were 16 folders with subfolders categorised and labelled by the defendant which depicted the offending on different dates against the victim.
“A total of 1834 files were located including 288 movies and 1546 images. Due to the sheer volume and graphic nature of the objectionable material located, only a sample was analysed.”
Alongside his crude collection of footage of the victim he also had in excess of 180,000 images, videos, cartoons and stories containing child exploitation material and bestiality.
The objectionable images are of girls aged approximately between infant and 16 years of age and depict children in sexualised poses, performing sexual acts on adults and other children and being abused by adults.
“The defendant engaged with other paedophiles online and mutually they watched children being raped and commented on it,” said police.
“The significant library of material was categorised and placed in folders… he had a significant amount labelled ‘to sort’.”
Police said the material on the man’s devices was created between 1996 and 2021.
The charge of sexual conduct with a child outside New Zealand came after the man joined an online platform in 2018.
Through that platform he communicated with two girls aged 7 and 10 who police believe were in the US.
He groomed them online and then instructed them to perform sexual, explicit and lewd acts on themselves and each other.
“The defendant’s device shows him on a split screen with the victims and it details what he is telling them to do,” said police.
“He offers words of encouragement when they comply with his requests.”
Bid for suppression continues – psych reports to be completed
The man has been in custody since his arrest while his case has been progressing.
Initially, the man faced 50 charges and later another 30 charges were laid by police.
However, in October 40 of those charges were withdrawn.
Today two charges were withdrawn and two amended to become representative charges.
The man and the company he worked for at the time of his arrest were granted interim suppression orders at his first appearance in court.
Today the company indicated it was no longer pursuing suppression.
But the man is still trying to keep his name secret and is advancing his application for a permanent suppression order.
His lawyer Andrew McCormick said the man had recently tried to take his own life “hot on the heels” of a discussion they had about suppression and mounting opposition by the police and media.
McCormick told the court that given the suppression issue was “the likely trigger” for the suicide attempt it was crucial for a relevant psychiatric expert to fully assess the offender’s mental health before a final decision was made on whether his name could be published.
The defence lawyer said the expert was not available to complete that assessment until “mid-to-late January” and it could take two weeks after that to provide a full report for the court.
He asked the court to hold off making a final decision on suppression until the sentencing date.
McCormick said he did not make the application for the adjournment lightly – however given the offender’s psychological state, it was “of significant enough concern” to warrant further assessment and work.
He described the offending as “spectacular” and “remarkable” from an “intelligent” and respected professional and said it was appropriate for the court to have as much information as possible from “an eminently qualified professional” before a final decision was made.
The Crown argued there was an “absence of evidence” to meet the threshold to grant suppression.
Prosecutor Deidre Elsmore said there had been “ample time” to get the man assessed and put any evidence of risk to his health or safety before the courts.
Further – aside from his recent suicide attempt – there was no other history of mental health issues or self harm.
She said Corrections had put in place “its highest level of protection” for the man to ensure he could not self harm.
He was in an at-risk unit and being checked every 30 minutes with a plan to increase that to 15 minute intervals after his guilty pleas were entered.
Elsmore said the man had expressed concern for his family – particularly his young son and the impact his name being published would have on the boy.
She rejected that concern, given some of the offending happened when his son was nearby and it did not prevent the abuse from continuing.
She said the offending was “so brazen and so prolific” and police were concerned “there might be more victims in the community”.
“The family themselves -the parents of the (victim) support name suppression being lifted,” she said.
After considering submissions from both sides, Judge Rollo ordered interim suppression to continue until he had “the appropriate available information”.
He said the case should be “promptly assessed” again after a “multidisciplinary meeting” which is scheduled to be held next week at the prison regarding the man’s situation.
He ordered a report detailing the outcome of that meeting to be provided to him by December 3.
The issue will be revisited again on December 8.
On that day Judge Rollo may terminate the suppression orders or grant the defence more time to obtain further and more in-depth expert psychiatric reports.
The man will be sentenced in February.
SEXUAL HARM – DO YOU NEED HELP?
If it’s an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
If you’ve ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone contact the Safe to Talk confidential crisis helpline on:
• Text 4334 and they will respond
• Email [email protected]
• Visit https://safetotalk.nz/contact-us/ for an online chat
Alternatively contact your local police station –
If you have been abused, remember it’s not your fault.
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