The mother of one of the 91 girls allegedly raped by a former Brisbane childcare worker has reportedly broken her silence in a chilling open letter.
In the letter, she said her daughter was aged three and four when the alleged abuse occurred.
“My youngest daughter, the one I eventually realised he was [allegedly] abusing, would run up to him every time she was at kindy,” the anonymous post read.
“She would exclaim his name and express excitement at all they would do that day. I felt so reassured knowing my baby was cared for … it made me feel secure knowing she was in good hands and was happy at that centre.
“But with such beauty was lurking a darkness. While he greeted us and told us our daughters ‘had a great day’, he had [allegedly] been raping them. I struggle with this on a deep level.”
It comes after Australian Federal Police arrested a 45-year-old man who has been hit with more than 1600 charges including 136 counts of rape and 110 counts of sexual intercourse with a child under 10.
The Gold Coast man cannot be named until his case is committed to trial, under Queensland law. The charges related to 91 victims from 10 Brisbane childcare centres, one Sydney childcare centre and an international centre.
Police alleged offending took place over a 15-year period between 2007 and 2022, with the man accused of filming many of his crimes.
According to The Courier-Mail, the open letter contains detailed allegations about the case and, while it is unable to be verified, a source close to the investigation told the newspaper it appears to be legitimate.
“Despite such a well-outlined and professional delivery by the Australian Federal Police, I felt like my voice was lost among the horrific detail of what this individual [allegedly] did to our daughters,” the woman wrote.
“Many will ask, ‘Were there any red flags?’ To be honest, no, for me there weren’t. This individual befriended us and appeared to be child-centred in his approach to early learning. He … indulged the children in exceptional play-based learning strategies that had everyone impressed.
“His approach was akin to that of Montessori, using natural elements to create new and wonderful things. He loved art and would encourage the kids to express themselves using any media they could find.”
She said she grappled with a deep sense of betrayal but also guilt on learning of the allegations. “I grapple with my own sense of responsibility, how could I not have seen this?” she wrote.
According to the woman, the man abruptly left the centre but it was not until six months later that parents were contacted by the Australian Federal Police to identify stills of their daughters from videos of alleged abuse.
Police revealed this week that police received two reports about the man in 2020 and 2021 but “there was insufficient evidence to take action” at the time.
Queensland opposition child-safety spokeswoman Amanda Camm told The Australian the investigation had raised “serious questions” about the effectiveness of the state‘s Blue Card system.
Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said on Tuesday she had ordered an urgent briefing on the man’s approval to work with children, describing the allegations as “shocking, horrific and extremely serious”.
“My thoughts are of course with the affected families,” Ms D’Ath said in a statement.
“Queensland has one of the toughest ‘Working with Children Check’ systems in the country including a ‘No Card, No Start’ Scheme but it’s imperative we investigate to see if there are any areas in the system that need urgent action.”
Writing on Facebook, the woman said “so many of the systems in place have profoundly failed us and our daughters”.
“How can 91 little girls be [allegedly] raped by their childcare teacher and we still deny there is an issue here?“ she wrote.
“We need to implement more educated policies around employing childcare workers, formulate better consistent procedures in managing the Blue Card status and criminal history checks.
“We need to educate more staff and parents alike on what a predator’s grooming behaviour can look like.”