A 56-year-old man, Steven Maloney, formerly employed as a weapons training simulator operator at Robertson Army barracks Darwin has been sentenced to 10 years and 4 months imprisonment for child exploitation offences.
Following detection of suspicious online activity, an Australian Federal Police (AFP) officer purporting to be a 15 year old child engaged in an online text-based conversation with the offender on 7 and 8 January 2015. The offender made a number of indecent remarks in that conversation, activated a video of himself for a short period showing his genitalia and gave the covert AFP officer access to pornographic areas of the website on which they were communicating.
On 9 January 2015, AFP executed a search warrant at the offender’s office at Robertson Army Barracks, Darwin. AFP seized a laptop, an external hard drive and a desktop computer.
Following analysis of the laptop, hard drive and desktop computer, AFP discovered that between June 2010 and January 2015, the offender had engaged in multi-faceted criminal conduct involving child sex exploitation, including:
- Possessing around 11,500 images and 150 videos of child abuse material;
- Sending and receiving emails containing child pornography material;
- Sending and receiving child pornography material to other online users via Skype;
- Making approximately 3,000 images and videos of child pornography material available to other users;
- Procuring children in Eastern Europe and the Philippines to provide online “sex shows”, paying for those sex shows by sending money via Western Union, watching the sex shows live using a video chat program and actively communicating with the children while they were engaging in sexual activity. The offender procured 7 sex shows that were the subject of charges. The offender recorded 4 of those shows using webcam recording software, and transmitted videos of 3 of the shows to another online user. The children involved in the sex shows ranged from approximately 5 years of age to approximately 10 years of age. One of the videos involved an adult female engaging in sexual acts with a child approximately 10 years of age. The offender also took screenshots of the sex shows and saved them on his computer.
The offender was arrested and charged on 9 January 2015.
His Honour remarked that the offender’s conduct was a serious example of offending of this kind, and that he actively contributed to the exploitation and degradation of children. His Honour also noted that without consumers of child pornography material, there would be no market. For that reason, general deterrence is a paramount sentencing consideration. His Honour found that the offender clear had a sexual interest in children.
On 3 November 2015 Steven Robert Maloney pleaded guilty in the Darwin Supreme Court to the following charges committed between June 2010 and January 2015:
- 5 counts of using a carriage service to transmit and make available child pornography material contrary to s474.19(1)(a)(iii) of the Criminal Code (Cth)
- 1 count of using a carriage service to transmit an indecent communication contrary to s474.27A(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth)
- 1 count of producing child abuse material contrary to s125B(1) of the Criminal Code (NT)
- 1 count of possessing child abuse material contrary to s125B(1) of the Criminal Code (NT)
- 2 counts of using a carriage service to access child pornography material contrary to s474.19(1)(a)(i) of the Criminal Code (Cth)
- 3 counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity outside Australia contrary to s272.9(2) of the Criminal Code (Cth)
Steven Maloney was convicted and sentenced to a total effective sentence of 10 years and 4 months with a non-parole period of 5 years and 3 months.