Rugby Australia fire senior exec in wake of child abuse material sting
Rugby Australia have fired a senior executive ‘effective immediately’ after police arrested and charged the employee over the alleged possession of child sexual abuse material.
Australian Federal Police raided the home of James Selby (41) in Sydney and seized electronic devices as evidence.
According to reports in Australia, Selby is charged with ‘using a carriage service to solicit child abuse material, possessing or controlling child abuse material, using a carriage service to access child abuse material and causing child abuse material to be transmitted to self using a carriage service.’
The AFP have contacted Rugby Australia over the matter, who resolved to fire Selby immediately. Selby, a sports administrator, has been working with Rugby Australia for over three years as a community rugby strategist. He is not thought to have worked directly with the organisations coaching staff or players.
Rugby Australia released a statement saying: “Rugby Australia (RA) has been made aware that the Australian Federal Police (AFP) has charged an RA employee with criminal offences.
“RA takes all matters relating to the behaviour of its employees very seriously.
“RA has high standards of conduct and behaviour, to ensure that we reflect and protect the diversity of the communities that we are a part of.
“The RA Board met and resolved to terminate the individual’s employment effective immediately.”
Selby appeared at Parramatta Local Court on September 18 and was refused bail.
He was arrested as part of Operation Arkstone, a police investigation designed to thwart the proliferation of online child sexual abuse material. If found guilty, Selby could face up to 15 years behind bars.
AFP Detective Sergeant Joel Wheeler said instant messaging applications and social media forums provide an easy avenue for child sex offenders to find and share child abuse material with their likeminded peers.
“The conversations and content produced and shared online about the abuse of young children is horrifically overwhelming,” Det. Sgt Wheeler said.
“AFP Child Protection officers and Digital Forensic specialists examine every conversation, video and image identified during a search warrant to find the child being abused and stop not only their direct abusers, but the other child sex offenders that fund this industry and help people profit from the atrocious end result.”
The AFP state that the operation has so far resulted in 21 arrests in Australia, including 15 in NSW, on more than 1301 charges of child exploitation and bestiality, In addition, 55 child victims in Australia were identified and 11 animals were removed from harm.
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