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A horrified parent has revealed Australia’s alleged worst paedophile who managed childcare centres across the country also had a special role as the daycares centres’ in-house photographer. 

Ashley Paul Griffith, 45, has been charged with 1,623 child abuse offences after allegedly sexually assaulting 91 young girls at childcare centres in Brisbane, Sydney and overseas between 2007 and 2022.  

The horrific allegations against Griffith include 136 counts of rape and 110 counts of sexual intercourse with a child under 10 – with at least 23 of his alleged victims then aged between one and five. 

Griffith’s identity was unmasked for the first time on Tuesday after a change in Queensland law allowed the identity of those accused of sexual assaults to be identified prior to being committed to stand trial. 

A parent whose child used to attend one of the centres where Griffith was employed in 2008 and 2009 has spoken out about how Griffith loved to take videos and photos of the children.

‘My son went there for a while,’ he said. ‘He [Griffith] loved to photograph the kids and take videos of them and had essentially taken up the role of centre photographer.’

The father said his family still have pictures from his son’s time at the centre on display inside their home.

‘I have a black and white photo on my wall of my son taken by Ashley,’ he said. ‘I also somewhere have a DVD he made of my son and other kids playing.

‘I feel sick to the pit of my stomach. This is all so disturbing.’ 

Ashley Paul Griffith, 45, (pictured) allegedly sexually abused 91 young girls over the past 15 years

If convicted of all offences, Griffith would be considered the worst paedophile in Australia’s history.

Court documents reveal the extent of the heinous allegations against Griffith. 

Police will allege Griffith raped one of his victims 28 times and sexually abused another 54 times.

Another young girl was allegedly raped 27 times and sexually abused 34 times, the court documents state. 

A third girl was allegedly raped eight times and abused 24 times over three years. 

Earlier this year, Daily Mail Australia revealed Griffith boasted about his childcare experience and discussed how he helped children ‘develop their identities’ in a now-deleted online profile. 

At the time of the post, in early 2020, Griffith was the director of a Brisbane childcare centre, where he also worked as a Kindergarten teacher. 

Describing himself in an online bio for the business, Griffith said he had years of experience working in the early childhood sector and is a ‘firm believer in play-based learning as well as Inquiry’.

‘I love engaging children in meaningful experiences that inspire their play and learning,’ the post reads.

‘I am particularly fascinated by how children use creative languages such as drawing, building, painting and music to express themselves and develop their identity.’

The man allegedly committed the offences, including 136 counts of rape and 110 counts of sexual intercourse with a child under 10, while he was a childcare worker in Brisbane, Sydney and overseas between 2007 and 2022

Griffith said that ‘young children are natural inquirers’ who ‘explore the world through their senses, seeking answers and building theories’. 

He added: ‘As an Early Childhood Teacher I hope to share this journey, learning side by side children and inspiring them.’

Griffith said his lengthy early childhood teaching experience included spending around 12 months working at a school in Italy and several years in Sydney helping set up a childcare centre. 

After spending several years away from Queensland, Griffith said he had recently returned to Brisbane to support his sister, who has three young children.

Before taking the role as director, Griffith said he had been working at another local school teaching a Kindergarten program. 

Griffith spent almost two years as the director of that childcare centre before colleagues reported him to police in October 2021 after allegedly witnessing him inappropriately touching children.

He was stood down with full pay while the allegations were investigated. However, his former manager Yolanda Borucki said he was ultimately cleared and allowed to return to work due to lack of evidence.

Queensland Police confirmed that while they investigated Griffith, they did not search his home or devices. 

He was eventually taken into custody around 10 months later in August 2022 after the Australian Federal Police allegedly linked him to another active child abuse investigation.

Australian Federal Police Northern Assistant Commissioner Justine Gough (above) said police are providing ongoing support to the affected parents and children

Queensland Police first launched an investigation in 2014 after finding child abuse images and videos on the dark web and posted the images on an international victim identification database, hoping overseas authorities may be able to help. 

However, the images contained few distinguishable clues for investigators to follow  and the case went cold for eight years. 

A breakthrough came in August, 2022, when the AFP was able to trace objects identified in the background of the alleged images and videos posted on the dark web between 2013 and 2014 to a Brisbane childcare centre.

The AFP executed a search warrant on August 20, 2022 on a Brisbane home and arrested the man in the city’s south-west before charging him with allegedly making and distributing child abuse material.

Griffith worked in Brisbane childcare centres between 2007 and 2013, overseas in 2013 and 2014, a Sydney centre between 2014 and 2017 and in Brisbane again between 2018 and 2022. 

The AFP said it is confident all 87 of his alleged Australian victims have been identified with their parents informed of the investigation.

Griffith’s case returns to court at a later date. 

If you or someone you know needs support, contact 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800. 

Full AFP media release on charges

An AFP investigation has led to a former childcare worker being charged with 1623 child abuse offences against 91 children – including 136 counts of rape and 110 counts of sexual intercourse with a child under 10 – in Brisbane, Sydney and overseas between 2007 and 2022.

The Gold Coast man, 45, has been in custody in Queensland since August 2022 when the AFP arrested and charged him initially with two counts of making child exploitation material and one count of using a carriage service for child pornography material.

The case is scheduled for a mention in Brisbane Magistrates Court on 21 August, 2023.

After the man was charged last year, the AFP will allege further self-produced child abuse material was identified on electronic devices allegedly owned by the man. The AFP launched Operation Tenterfield immediately after arresting the man on 21 August last year.

Operation Tenterfield has in part focused on identifying the children in the alleged child abuse material recorded at childcare centres in Queensland (10) and NSW (one), and an early learning centre attached to a school overseas.

The AFP alleges the man recorded his offending on phones and cameras while working in 10 childcare centres in Brisbane between 2007 to 2013, and 2018 to 2022; an overseas location in 2013 and 2014; and one centre in Sydney between 2014 and 2017. All the children allegedly offended against were pre-pubescent girls. The man worked at other childcare centres but the AFP is highly-confident the man did not allegedly offend at those centres.

The AFP is also highly-confident that all 87 Australian children who were recorded in the alleged child abuse material have been identified. The AFP believes the man recorded all his alleged offending.

The parents of all the Australian children recorded in the alleged child abuse material have been informed of the investigation. Some of the individuals identified in the alleged child abuse material are now aged over 18 years and have been informed. Support services have been offered and continue to be provided.

The AFP is working with international authorities to help identify four children recorded in alleged child abuse material created overseas.

The AFP Queensland Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (JACET) and victim identification specialists from the AFP and Queensland Police Service (QPS) have been working tirelessly since the man’s arrest last year to identify all children in the alleged child abuse material.

In November, 2022, the AFP provided evidence to NSW Police Force (NSWPF) to enable an investigation for the alleged offending in NSW. NSWPF launched Strike Force Boorong to investigate alleged offending in Sydney. With the assistance of the AFP, NSWPF notified families and individuals identified under Operation Tenterfield.

Operation Tenterfield with the assistance of Strike Force Boorong has undertaken detailed forensic investigations of more than 4000 images and videos containing alleged child abuse material, which was allegedly created by the man.

In July, 2023, the AFP laid further charges against the man (on top of the three original charges) for the alleged offending against 64 children in Queensland and four children overseas.

Those charges include:

In June, 2023, NSWPF laid charges for alleged offending against 23 children in NSW. Charges include:

NSWPF has issued a first instance warrant for the man’s future extradition.

Operation Tenterfield has been complex and has involved highly-skilled victim identification specialists. Up to 35 AFP members have been involved in the investigation since August 2022.

The AFP thanks QPS and NSWPF for dedicating resources to the investigation.

The genesis of Operation Tenterfield is linked to QPS locating alleged child abuse images and videos on the dark web in 2014.

QPS posted them on an international victim identification database, seeking assistance from the global victim-identification community.

The AFP and other agencies examined the images but they contained few distinguishable clues for investigators to follow.

But in August, 2022, the AFP was able to trace objects identified in the background of the alleged images and videos posted on the dark web between 2013 and 2014 to a Brisbane childcare centre.

Following inquiries with the childcare centre, the AFP executed a search warrant on 20 August, 2022, in Brisbane, and arrested the man in Brisbane’s southwestern suburbs. He was charged with making and distributing child abuse material that was allegedly posted on the dark web.

In the next 48 hours, the AFP executed two further search warrants including at the man’s Gold Coast home and seized electronic devices allegedly containing child abuse material created by the man.

In September 2022, the AFP coordinated a joint-agency taskforce with QPS at the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) to review nearly 4000 seized images and videos the man had allegedly created.

Victim identification specialists helped identify 91 children who had allegedly been offended against by the man.

The childcare centres will not be named to help protect the identity of alleged victims.

AFP Northern Assistant Commissioner Justine Gough said the AFP and other agencies were providing ongoing support to parents and children.

‘The AFP, working with support services, has ensured parents and carers have received as much information as possible as this investigation continues,’ Assistant Commissioner Gough said.

‘I can assure members of the Australian public that if you have not been contacted by law enforcement, it is extremely unlikely your child was allegedly offended against by the man.

‘The AFP is highly-confident that all the Australian children who were recorded in the alleged child abuse material have been identified.

‘The AFP and our partners never gave up trying to identify the alleged offender and the children in the alleged abuse material.

‘Given there were so many alleged images and videos of children recorded over 15 years on the alleged offender’s devices, the process of identification took time, skill and determination.

‘While I am extremely proud of law enforcements’ persistence and their unwavering dedication to identify this alleged offender, and stop further abuse, this is chilling news.

‘It is with a heavy-heart that the AFP and other law enforcement dedicate so much time and resources to prevent and take action against individuals who commit heinous crimes against children.

‘There is not much solace I can give parents and children who have been identified under Operation Tenterfield, but I can tell you that we never gave up, and we never will when it comes to protecting children.

‘This is a distressing time for families, carers and the community broadly.

‘We know this type of news can re-traumatise survivors of sexual abuse, and, please, I urge those survivors to seek support, or talk to a trusted network, if today’s news has caused distress.’

Queensland Police Service Acting Assistant Commissioner Col Briggs said this outcome was the culmination of years of dedicated and complex investigation across jurisdictions.

‘From the moment Argos located images of victim children being shared on the dark web in 2014 an extensive examination was launched to identify the children in the pictures,’ Acting Assistant Commissioner Briggs said.

‘The challenges posed by an investigation of this type were significant and officers never gave up on identifying this alleged offender, reminding themselves that everything you do online leaves a trace.

‘In recent years investigators engaged the support of a joint-agency Victim Identification Taskforce at the ACCCE, with several agencies working together to ensure the victims and their families were located.

‘These allegations are horrific and confronting, but I commend all investigators from each jurisdiction in their relentless efforts to ensure that our community is made safer as a result of the arrest of the alleged perpetrator.

Assistant Commissioner Michael Fitzgerald from the NSWPF State Crime Command confirmed the man would also be facing child sex abuse related charges in NSW.

‘Today we announce that the NSW Police Force have issued a warrant for this man’s arrest in our home state, where he faces 180 child sex abuse charges against 23 victims aged one to five,’ Assistant Commissioner Fitzgerald said.

‘Once this man faces the AFP charges in Queensland, we will be seeking to extradite him to Sydney to face the full force of the law in New South Wales.

‘This is one of the most horrific cases of alleged child abuse our detectives have seen, and we will continue to relentlessly pursue this matter on behalf of the 23 victims of NSW, who remain our number one priority.

‘Alongside our partner agencies, we are absolutely committed to prosecuting anyone who goes after our community’s most vulnerable.’

The AFP urges anyone in the community who needs to access support to visit the ACCCE website – www.accce.gov.au – 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 www.accce.gov.au/report. If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.

Research conducted by the ACCCE in 2020 revealed only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety.

If you or someone you know are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available at www.accce.gov.au/support.

Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protect children online can be found at www.thinkuknow.org.au, an AFP-led education program designed to prevent online child sexual exploitation. 


Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com

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