Scotland Island man charged with online exploitation of nine-year-old girl

| 19.04,19. 02:19 PM |



Scotland Island man charged with online exploitation of nine-year-old girl



Police say Pieter Bezuidenhout, 43, believed he was speaking online to the 40-year-old male relative of a nine-year-old girl.



A man living in a wooden cottage on an island in Sydney's north has been charged with child pornography offences.


Detectives searched a home on Scotland Island and seized a number of electronic devices.


Detectives searched a home on Scotland Island and seized a number of electronic devices.Credit:NSW Police


Mr Bezuidenhout lives on Scotland Island, a small island in Pittwater accessible only by boat.


In the online discussions, which began in February, Mr Bezuidenhout allegedly discussed sexually explicit acts he wanted to do to the child and acts he also wanted the male relative to perform on the girl.


Unbeknown to him, he had actually been communicating with detectives from the child exploitation internet unit (CEIU) of the child abuse and sex crimes squad.


Police allege Mr Bezuidenhout also sent sexually explicit material on multiple occasions.


Following investigations, Strike Force Trawler detectives arrested Mr Bezuidenhout outside a Collaroy Plateau business about 11.30am on Thursday.


Shortly after Mr Bezuidenhout was arrested, detectives searched a property on Scotland Island and seized several electronic devices that will be forensically examined.


Mr Bezuidenhout was taken to Manly police station where he was charged with one count of accessory before the fact to attempted sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 10 years, and seven counts of using a carriage service to transmit, publish or promote child porn.


Mr Bezuidenhout appeared briefly at Parramatta Bail Court via audio-visual link. He did not apply for bail and it was formally refused.


His mother, father and brother all attended court, with his mother looking teary as her son appeared on screen.


He will next appear in Central Local Court on Wednesday.


Detectives from the CEIU regularly conduct covert online investigations, and Strike Force Trawler is an ongoing investigation into the sexual abuse of children facilitated through the internet.


Anyone with information about internet predators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers.


SMH


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