Men face court on ECEC child charges
The Sector > Workforce > Men face Downing Centre District Court in relation to crimes committed in ECEC

Men face Downing Centre District Court in relation to crimes committed in ECEC

by Freya Lucas

March 18, 2024

Two men faced Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court on Friday charged, in part, with offences committed against children they had access to while working in an early childhood education and care (ECEC) setting. 


Before continuing with this story The Sector readers should be aware that the content may be confronting, and discusses crimes committed against children. A list of support services has been provided at the conclusion of the piece. 


Arrested as part of Operation Arkstone, one of the largest ever efforts by Australian law enforcement to uncover those behind online child abuse networks, the two men are alleged to have abused ‘dozens’ of young children in country New South Wales. 


The crimes of the two men, who cannot be named due to a Court Order, were outlined during Friday’s hearing, ahead of sentencing to take place next month before Judge Sarah Hopkins. 


Many of the details about the case cannot be revealed, again as a result of a Court Order, however in 2022, each of the men pled guilty to a number of charges. 


One of the men, now 30 years of age, admitted to the abuse of 28 victims, and awaits sentencing on more than 200 offences including indecent assault, using a child to make child abuse material and using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material.


This man, known as TD in court documents, was working in a regional ECEC service in 2017, after approaching the management of the service seeking employment. 


He was working in a casual capacity when a parent made a complaint that TD had kissed a child. He was suspended while the allegation was investigated, however the man continued to work for the service until he resigned in 2019.


The other man, who was TD’s partner, pleaded guilty to the abuse of 9 victims, and will be sentenced for more than 100 charges of a similar nature to the first man.


No charges were pursued at the time of the ‘kissing’ allegation, however TD and his partner were arrested the following year, at which time police seized and searched electronic devices, finding images of the boy at the centre of the kissing allegation, along with images of 15 other children from the service. 


Police subsequently learned that the images had been circulated through an online child exploitation ‘ring’.


In total, the Australian Federal Police found more than 23,000 videos and 152,000 images on TD’s phone which were predominantly child abuse material, some of it self-produced, showing “shocking exploitation and abuse of young children.”


The men will appear before Judge Hopkins on 24 April to be sentenced. 


Visit the ACCCE website – – for a full list of available support services with contact details.


Members of the public who have information about people involved in child abuse and exploitation are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.

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