MP’s adviser, senior prison officer on child abuse charges
A senior political adviser and a high-ranking Correctional Services officer have been arrested and charged with child abuse offences.
The Advertiser can reveal the pair were arrested following ongoing investigations into Jadd William Brooker - the HIV-positive paedophile who sought to infect children with the virus.
The pair, 38 and 37, were arrested late on Tuesday as a result of a SA Police/Federal Police Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET) investigation.
The 38-year-old is a senior adviser with a state MP and the 37-year-old is acting in an executive position with Correctional Services.
The men are well-known to each other and cannot legally be named until they appear in court, which is expected to happen on Wednesday.
Their arrests follow an investigation that stemmed from a separate SA JACET inquiry last year into Brooker, 39 of Glenelg.
He has already pleaded guilty to some, but not all, of the 44 child sex abuse charges laid against him last year.
Part of the investigation into Brooker involved forensic analysis of 4.5 million digital files on his various devices.
Police will allege they found records of online conversations between Brooker and a 27-year-old Victorian man about the sexual abuse of children.
When Victorian JACET investigators arrested the Melbourne man earlier this year and forensically analysed his devices, they allegedly found links to the 37-year-old and 38-year-old men in South Australia.
Investigators from SA JACET allegedly found a large amount of child abuse material on a USB device when they searched the 38-year-old's home on Tuesday.
An office at Parliament House was also searched after a search warrant was served on Speaker Josh Teague to gain access.
The 38-year-old, from Adelaide, is expected to face Adelaide Magistrates Court on Wednesday charged with one count of producing child abuse material through a carriage service, two counts of aggravated possession of child exploitation material and two counts of possession of child exploitation material.
The 37-year-old, from Port Lincoln, is expected to appear in Port Lincoln Magistrates Court charged with two counts of producing child exploitation material, one count of indecent filming, one count of aggravated possession of child exploitation material and one count of disseminating child exploitation material.
Police are working to identify the children in the vision seized to check on their welfare and remove them from harm. Inquiries are also ongoing into any other potential offending.
AFP Detective Superintendent Gail McClure said the investigation showed how closely police around Australia worked together to combat the exploitation and abuse of children.
"Our common goal is to protect children, wherever they live, and ensure anyone who tries to harm them is identified and brought before the courts," she said.
SAPOL Detective Superintendent James Blandford said the strong partnership between the AFP and SAPOL provides our community a powerful force to protect children and hold offenders to account.
"The offences relating to child exploitation are significant and seriously damaging to victims and the community as a whole, as a result of the traumatic physical and emotional scars inflicted by the abuse," he said.
"Our community must tackle the question of child exploitation head-on and collectively find an answer to it."
Members of the public who have any information about people involved in child abuse and exploitation are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at www.accce.gov.au/report.
*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.
Originally published as MP's adviser and senior prison officer on child sex charges