SYDNEY (Reuters) – A former Australian childcare worker has been charged with 1,623 child abuse offences against 91 children between 2007 and 2022, federal police said on Tuesday.
The 45-year-old man has been in custody in Queensland state since August 2022 when police arrested and charged him initially for making child exploitation material.
Police alleged more self-produced child abuse material was found on electronic devices purportedly owned by the man, after further investigations since his arrest last year.
“This is one of the most horrific child abuse cases that I’ve seen in nearly 40 years of policing,” New South Wales state police Assistant Commissioner Michael Fitzgerald told a news conference.
“It’s beyond the realms of anyone’s imagination what this person did to these children.”
Police said the man recorded the offences on phones and cameras while working in 10 childcare centres in Brisbane between 2007 to 2013, and 2018 to 2022, an overseas centre in 2013 and 2014 and one centre in Sydney between 2014 and 2017.
He has been charged with 136 counts of rape and 110 counts of sexual intercourse with a child under 10. All the children allegedly offended were girls, with some now aged over 18 years.
The case has been scheduled in court on Aug. 21.
(Reporting by Renju Jose in Sydney; Editing by Christopher Cushing)