Australia's police smash one of biggest sex rings

Two of the men - aged 21 and 26 - were charged with allegedly raping eight children in Kendall, where missing boy William Tyrrell (pictured) was last seen in September 2014. The Australian Federal Police have refused to say if they believe any men have links to his disappearance

Nine men are arrested as police smash one of Australia's biggest sex rings – as cops reveal 'children were being raped and filmed' in the town where William Tyrrell went missing

One of Australia's largest child sex rings has been busted after disturbing footage of men allegedly raping young boys was shared on the darkweb.

Nine men were arrested across Australia on Thursday - including seven in New South Wales - over accusations they sexually assaulted children and later shared videos of their horrific crimes online.

Two of the men - aged 21 and 26 - were charged with allegedly raping eight children in Kendall, where missing boy William Tyrrell was last seen in September 2014.

Australian Federal Police have refused to comment on whether they believe any men in the child sex ring have links to William's disappearance.

One of the men previously worked at the childcare centre in the small country town. The Courier Mail reports.

The AFP launched Operation Arkstone in February after disgusting footage allegedly showing some of the men performing sexual acts on young children was posted on the darkweb.

Previously arrests have been made in Queensland, NSW and Western Australia.

'This is the biggest domestic child exploitation network uncovered in recent times,' AFP Assistant Commissioner Northern Command Lesa Gale told reporters on Friday.

'At least 14 children have been removed from harmful situations, with a total of 40 charges laid,' she said.

NSW detectives have been brought into assist in the investigation, with seven of the alleged offenders from the state.

The 26-year-old man was charged with two counts of sexual intercourse with child under the age of 10 years, two counts of produce child abuse material and two counts of possess/control child abuse material using carriage service.

The 21-year-old man was charged with six counts of sexual intercourse with child under the age of 10 years and possess child abuse material.

The men, who face child exploitation and child harm charges, appeared in Kempsey Local Court on Friday.

It's alleged that some of their victims were family members.

Their offending is alleged to have begun in 2018, but may have started earlier, police say.

Police will allege in court that some of the accused men had sexually abused children known to them and recorded videos and photographs of the abuse to share with others online.

'The efforts of all officers involved in the investigation has resulted in at least 14 children removed from harmful situations, and saved from abuse in the future,' Assistant Commissioner Gale said.

'We are continuing to try to identify other children who we suspect were preyed on by individuals in the alleged network.

'It is heartbreaking to think of any child being sexually abused, but it strengthens our resolve to hunt down perpetrators and bring them to justice.

'Sexual abuse has a devastating impact on children and their families, and that abuse continues each and every time an image or video showing that crime is shared.'


Timeline of William Tyrrell's disappearance

Still missing: William Tyrrell vanished from his foster grandmother's home five years ago
Still missing: William Tyrrell vanished from his foster grandmother's home five years ago


2014

September 12 - Dressed in a Spiderman outfit, three-year-old William Tyrrell goes missing from the garden while visiting members of his foster family on the NSW north coast.

September 21 - Police stop searching for the missing boy after scouring surrounding bushland and neighbouring houses.

2015

January 20 - Police search the home and business of washing machine repairman Bill Spedding, who had been due to carry out repairs at the house at the time the three-year-old went missing.

Detectives take items for testing including a mattress, computer and vehicles. They drain his septic tank.

January 23 - The washing machine repairman publicly denies any involvement in William's disappearance and says he and his wife are on the verge of a breakdown due to the public attention.

February 19 - Homicide detectives take over the case and say it's likely William was abducted.

March 2 - Police fruitlessly search an area of bushland near Bonny Hills for three days after a tip-off.

April 17 - William's foster parents speak publicly for the first time in an emotional video released through police which does not identify them.

April 17 - Police say the boy may have been a victim of a paedophile ring.

September 6 - The Nine Network's 60 Minutes reveal two suspicious cars were parked on the street the morning William went missing.

September 12 - 'Where's William' week is launched one year after he disappeared.

2016

September 12 - A $1million reward is offered for information leading to William's return.

2017

August 24 - William's foster child status is revealed after a landmark court ruling.

2018

June 12 - NSW Police announce the start of a four-week forensic search of bushland conducted by Strike Force Rosann.

June 14 - William's grandmother scolds police who have failed to find the young boy after four years, and claims their latest search is 'just for show'.

June 26 - The forensic search continues on what would have been William's seventh birthday.

June 27 - Strike Force Rosann announces it will move the search to an 800sqm block of bushland just 4km from where William was last seen alive.

June 5 - The latest search ends with Detective Chief Inspector Gary Jubelin saying the case could soon go to a coroner.

August - Investigation leader Detective Chief Inspector Gary Jubelin and a sergeant get into a disagreement during a briefing.

September 13 - Police reveal they found a burned out car wreck belonging to a former person of interest.

December 19 - Coroners say William could still be alive and the inquest will determine if he died or not.

2019

February - DCI Jubelin is removed from the investigation amid a misconduct probe.

March 25 - The inquest into William Tyrrell's disappearance begins, with William's biological and foster parents appearing over the course of a week.

The inquest's first batch of hearings focused on William's family situation and the events leading up to his disappearance.

Both his foster and biological parents were quizzed, as were neighbours who helped in the search.

It was disclosed that William's biological parents absconded with him for six weeks in 2012, following a children's court order.

William's biological father slammed authorities for letting them down.

'Authorities f***ed up ... The minister had a duty of care to keep William safe until he was 18. That was not the case at all.'

May: DCI Jubelin quits the Police Force.

June: Four charges of breaching the Surveillance Devices Act are laid against DCI Jubelin. He denies any wrongdoing whatsover

August: The second tranche of inquest hearings began on Wednesday August 7

Inquest hears Bill Spedding, a NSW mid-north coast repairman and one-time person of interest in the disappearance of William Tyrrell, met his wife for coffee about 9.30am in Laurieton, a 15-minute drive from Kendall, on the day William went missing.

They then attended a school assembly across the road to see a child in their care receive an award.

The inquest heard how a man who claims he saw William Tyrrell unrestrained in the back of a speeding car on the day the child went missing was waiting for police to interview him to tell them what he saw.

He told the inquest he contacted police but did not hear back about an interview.

It took it took almost 1000 days before he was able to reveal what he saw to police.

The coroner orders an urgent probe into the final image that was taken on the day William vanished as metadata suggests the picture may have been taken 118 minutes earlier than originally thought.

The image has a 'created time' of 7.39am and a 'corrected time' of 9.37am, a new document from the 2000-page evidence brief.

The coronial inquest has been delayed for another eight months with the next round of hearings happening in March 2020.

November 11: The deputy state coroner releases footage of William Tyrrell and family at Heatherbrae McDonalds, on September 11, 2014

Feb - March 2020: Gary Jubelin defends four charges of illegally recording person of interest Paul Savage in court hearing

February 21: Daily Mail Australia reveals convicted paedophile Frank Abbott was arrested in custody for the purposes of a police interview about William's disappearance

March 2020: The coronial inquest into William's disappearance resumes but stops with two days to go due to the coronavirus outbreak

April 6, 2020: Magistrate Ross Hudson delivers his verdict in Gary Jubelin case

April 8, 2020: Jubelin is convicted of all four charges and fined $10,000. Ex-cop says he will appeal


Top picture: DailyMail.
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