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Child sex offender with images of child sex abuse jailed

Child sex offender with 31,000 images of child sex abuse jailed

The Police say a joint approach to uncovering sex offenders has contributed to the successful conviction and sentencing today of an active paedophile.

Aaron Paul Laurence, 38, of Wellington, was today sentenced to 12 years and nine months' jail when he appeared for sentencing in the Wellington High Court on a number of child sex charges. A minimum non-parole period of six and a half years was also imposed.

Alan Bell, of child protection agency ECPAT Child ALERT says ”Full marks to the Police for their proactive approach that has led to this conviction. I hope others who choose to support this vile industry of child pornography take note and understand that their actions are being constantly monitored by law enforcement agencies.”

The former art gallery owner pleaded guilty in March to over 60 charges of abuse, including the sexual violation of young boys and the production and distribution of footage of the abuse.

During the investigation into Laurence's offending, police found more than 31,000 images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of young boys, including the abuse of eight boys aged between 8 and 13 across the lower North Island.

As a result of the investigation, two children from overseas were rescued from further sex abuse in their home country.

“I am constantly amazed that New Zealanders indulge in this criminal activity that offends against our most vulnerable. These people inflict damage upon children and youth that can last a lifetime.” says Bell. “Of note in this case is the fact that the victims were boys and that not one of them had made a complaint. There is a growing trend for boys to be included in the victim profile and one wonders if part of the reason for targeting boys is the fact that they may not report the abuse to anyone. In this case the Police identified the offences through their ongoing investigations into the sexual exploitation of children.”

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Officer in charge of the case, Detective Senior Sergeant Kylie Schaare from the specialist police unit OCEANZ (Online Child Exploitation Across New Zealand), issued a warning to child sex offenders. "If you seek to exploit children either in the virtual or real world, rest assured that we will catch you eventually and hold you to account."

ECPAT Child ALERT is a registered charitable trust working to prevent the sexual exploitation of children.


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