JOEL KELLY, PerthNow
A 68-year-old man accused of sexually abusing three children while working as a child psychiatrist about 30 years ago has faced court.
Ian Stuart McAlpine intends to plead not guilty to all 40 charges against him. He has been charged with 26 counts of indecent assault, eight counts of sexual assault; five counts of indecent treatment of a child under 14 years and one count of defilement of a girl under 13 years.
Mr Alpine’s bail was renewed and his case has been adjourned until October 20 at Perth Magistrates Court.
Ian Stuart McAlpine after he appeared in the Perth Magistrates Court charged with child sex offences
The West Leederville man faced court today over child sex offences alleged to have occurred while he was working as a child psychiatrist between 1985 and 1992.
Police arrested the 68-year-old man on July 7 and charged him with 40 offences against three children. Police allege the man sexually abused the children when he was a practising child psychiatrist at Hillview Terrace Hospital, Cambridge Private Hospital and a private practice in Subiaco.
The children were aged between 11 and 17 years at the time of the alleged incidents.
Police say the man was deregistered from practice in February 1992.
The arrest was the result of a Taskforce Tonalite investigation.
The taskforce is an arm of the WA Police Child Abuse Squad, established in 2010 to investigate historical child sexual abuse, including allegations stemming from the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sex Abuse.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists released a statement saying it was “deeply troubled” by recent reports of the charges against Mr McAlpine.
RANZCP said Mr McAlpine was removed as a member of the college in 1992 after he was found guilty of “unprofessional conduct” by the Medical Board of Western Australia.
— If you are or have been a victim of child abuse, or if you have information about someone being abused, please contact police on 131 444.
A man who was sexually abused by his uncle in Canberra in the 1980s and 1990s has told the ACT Supreme Court of the profound impact the crime had on his life.
The court heard Willem Bowen Scheeren began to take an interest in his nephew Antony James Vote in the late 1980s, taking the boy on camping trips or to swim at local rivers.
Mr Vote, who wished to be identified, read a statement in court outlining how the abuse he then suffered had affected him.
"For a long time I blamed myself for what happened," he said.
"For a time I was even confused about my sexuality.
"It happened at a critical time in my life.
"For a time I even thought I was gay."
Mr Vote said it was still difficult for him to spend quality time with his sister's children.
"I'm always feeling uncomfortable with thoughts of them thinking I could be the same as my uncle," he said.
He said the abuse he suffered also exposed him to drugs and had divided his family.
"The impact it has had on my mother is what affects me the most," he said.
"Numerous times have I heard my mother cry herself to sleep; it broke my heart."
I share his pain: mother
His mother Robin Vote told the court that, while juggling work and parenting, she was initially grateful for the time Scheeren spent with her son.
"I was so happy that Antony had companionship and activities to keep him occupied and, I thought, safe," she said.
"As a mother, this is my greatest guilt."
She said Scheeren had since "freely admitted" that he had had inappropriate sexual contact with her son but told her it was "his way of demonstrating love".
Ms Vote said her family had become divided after her son revealed the abuse he had suffered.
Ms Vote said her son was in the process of recovering from his past.
"Antony is a loving and beloved son and brother," she said.
"He has suffered enormously and of course I share his pain.
Scheeren has pleaded guilty and is due to be sentenced next week.
Eryk Bagshaw, Sydney Morning Herald
The federal government has conducted more than 7400 investigations into online child sexual abuse content in the past year, a report card by the Office of the Children's eSafety Commissioner has revealed.
The report card, released on Tuesday, showed up to 92 per cent of the material investigated involved children of primary school age or younger.
Of those, 6 per cent were babies.
From their office in Pyrmont in Sydney's CBD, the Children's eSafety Commissioner's team of eight works with up to 50 national authorities including the US, Russia and Japan, as part of a collaborative network that helps to identify both victims and perpetrators.
Many of the cases emanate from the dark web, an encrypted network hidden behind the publicly facing internet, used by many of the world's criminals and paedophiles.
The vast majority of child sexual abuse content originates overseas, but is still available for download in Australia. The Australian task force alerts local authorities and ensures that the relevant website can be removed.
Late last year, the team helped track down an offender in the UK after it analysed the data of an illicit photo of a young girl downloaded in Australia.
Earlier this year it took down an entire forum after an Australian parent alerted them to modelling photos of their 10-year-old daughter and a friend that had been posted illicitly.
"What really concerned us was that those images were accompanied by very explicit descriptions of sexual abuse and violence," said senior investigator Toby Dagg.
"In particular, one user had identified where he thought the girls were located."
Sharon Trotter and Toby Dagg at the Office of the Children's eSafety Commissioner. Photo: Steven Siewert
Mr Dagg said the team contacted law enforcement where the girls were based, enabling them to take action straight away.
The cases are just two of the thousands the team investigated over the past year, as perpetrators uncover ever more sophisticated ways of covering their tracks.
The work is so distressing that the team has come up with different methods to help them cope with the strain of witnessing confronting images, day in, day out.
"There is evidence showing that if you expose yourself to other types of content, then that will stop the image you have just seen from imprinting in your mind," said the team's manager of online content, Sharon Trotter.
"The idea is if you do it immediately it has the strongest impact."
"It is very high-end, we do have to look after the staff reviewing the content. The staff have to be very resilient and work very closely within a team environment to make sure they can keep going with their day job," she said.
"The best part of the job is the reward you get when the content gets taken down; that is incredibly motivating for people. We operate on the principle that every single time a piece of content gets taken down, that is helping to stop the re-victimisation of the child.
You guys are my heroes, you know. God bless you.
The full report on online child sex abuse is due to be presented to federal Parliament later this year.