A former Australian childcare worker is facing 1,623 child abuse charges after allegedly sexually abusing 91 children, filming it, then sharing the content online.
Police allege the man preyed on young girls over a 15-year period at a dozen centres in Australia as well as overseas all while distributing the content on the dark web.
He was arrested in August 2022, but it has taken police a year to investigate and identify alleged victims.
The accused man, 45, has been charged with 136 counts of rape and 110 counts of sexual intercourse with a child under 10, ABC News reports.
An investigation involving the Australian Federal Police (AFP) as well as Queensland and New South Wales state police led to the arrest of the man, with offences allegedly committed in Brisbane, Sydney and overseas between 2007 and 2022.
Police said the abuse happened at 10 different childcare centers between 2007 and 2022 and exclusively targeted “prepubescent girls” — some as young as one year old.
The accused is alleged to have filmed or taken pictures of “all” his alleged crimes — and eventually catalogued more than 4,000 photos and videos of abuse.
The man, who has not been named by police, has been in custody in Queensland since August 2022 when the AFP arrested and charged him with two counts of making child exploitation material and one count of using a carriage service for child abuse material.
Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath, whose department is responsible for approving childcare workers, said the allegations were “shocking, horrific and extremely serious.”
“My thoughts are of course with the affected families,” D’Ath said in a statement.
The lawmaker has ordered an urgent briefing of the status of the alleged offender’s approval to work with children.
The man’s case is scheduled for a mention in Brisbane magistrates court on 21 August.