Perth, Australia: "This investigation is one of the most significant child abuse investigations ever conducted in Western Australia insofar as how many images were located and how many victims we will allege were abused," Western Australian Sex Crime Division Inspector Hamish McKenzie told reporters earlier today.
"In regards to the child exploitation material located, I need to stress that these are not artificially produced images and this is not pornography. What these images show is real children being abused."
A search warrant was executed in July 2021 at the Perth residence and place of employment of a 47-year-old man where electronics were seized.
Investigators then spent "hundreds and hundreds of hours" reviewing those devices which resulted in the identification of 24 victims, both boys and girls, between the ages of three and 13 that had been abused between 2015 and 2021.
According to investigators, the accused knew the victims through friends and family.
In total, investigators found approximately 3.8 million images and videos of child sexual abuse material.
The man has been charged with 240 counts of indecently dealing with a child under the age of 13, 98 counts of indecently recording a child under the age of 13, 44 counts of sexually penetrating a child under the age of 13, 26 counts of possession of child exploitation material, and five counts of producing child exploitation material.
The man, whose identity has not been released, has been in custody since last July and is scheduled to appear in Perth Magistrates Court on Friday, April 22.