Police have asked a magistrate for several more months to gather evidence against an ex-childcare worker charged with more than 1600 child abuse offences spanning two Australian states, one overseas centre and 15 years.
Among the sickening accusations levelled at the 45-year-old Gold Coast man, who can’t be named for legal reasons, are 136 counts of rape and 110 counts of sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 10.
His 91 alleged prepubescent victims allegedly included 87 Australian girls and four living overseas.
In the Brisbane Magistrate’s Court on Monday, the police prosecutor John Dick asked Deputy Chief Magistrate Anthony Gett to adjourn the case until December or January, noting the “voluminous” size of the matter.
“The parties need more time to assess evidence,” Mr Dick said.
“We’re ultimately seeking adjournment until the end of the year”.
The prosecutor said the brief had largely been provided but there were some “small bits of evidence relating to overseas evidence which the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) is waiting on and the AFP is waiting on, but I don’t anticipate that would stop us from preparing the matter”.
The alleged victims were enrolled across 10 childcare centres in Brisbane between 2007 and 2013 – as well as 2018 and 2022 – one overseas centre in 2013 and 2014, and one Sydney centre between 2014 and 2017.
The man has been locked up since his arrest in Brisbane’s south-west a year ago.
Magistrate Gett said he did not want to adjourn the case as long as police were seeking, and was willing only to adjourn it until November 6, when it will return to Brisbane Magistrates Court.
According to the Australian Federal Police (AFP), their Queensland counterparts first found alleged child abuse images and videos on the dark web in 2014 but could not lock down any leads.
An alleged breakthrough came in August 2022, when AFP investigators traced objects in the background of one alleged child abuse video to a Brisbane childcare centre where the alleged perpetrator worked.
Following a search of the man’s home and other addresses, police allegedly discovered almost 4,000 child abuse images and videos which he is accused of creating.
The AFP initially charged the man with three child exploitation material charges.
From then, the investigation focused largely on identifying the alleged victims, with police confident all Australian girls allegedly recorded have been identified and their parents notified.
Police say some alleged victims are now adults.
After a year of investigating, police charged the man with more than 1,600 further offences across Queensland and NSW.
The Queensland charges, which he faced in court on Monday, allegedly relate to 63 Brisbane children and four overseas kids.
They include 136 counts of rape, more than 600 counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16 and more than 600 counts of making child exploitation material.
The man is also charged with 83 counts of controlling, distributing or obtaining child pornography material outside Australia (and one count of the same charge within Australia) and six counts of possessing child exploitation material.
Separately, the man faces more than 100 charges in NSW allegedly relating to 23 Sydney children under the age of 10. They include 68 counts of sexual intercourse with a child, 42 counts of aggravated sexual intercourse with a child, 69 counts of aggravated indecent assault and one count of producing child abuse material.
While the man was charged by NSW Police in June this year and by the AFP for the huge number of alleged Queensland offences a month later, he faced the latter ones in court first.
Police previously said they will seek his extradition to NSW once he has faced the judicial system in Queensland.