A mainstream media news anchor has pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography and has told the court that he is a “proud pedophile.”
Australia’s Nine News Network anchorman, Ben McCormack, confessed to two child porn offences, and referred to himself as a “proud ped” and “proud boy-lover” in online chat rooms for pedophiles.
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McCormack used the Dark Web to connect with other members of pedophile ring where he used the alias Oz4skinboi.
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Investigators say that he had been trading child porn with other pedophiles in the chat room for 2 years before his arrest.
When asked by another user in the chatroom if he would always “be a p”, the news anchor responded, “Yep, U … I’ll always have the attraction … They are beautiful”.
Theaustralian.com.au reports: In January this year, McCormack told the man he liked “naughty boys” and the man asked, “U eva think u’ll play with one? Or just fantasy?”.
“I’d love to,” he replied.
In another instant he wrote “I love them sooooo much, perfect bodies…”
Although police never found any videos or photos of child pornography transmitted by McCormack the conversations showed the men had exchanged a number of images, the agreed facts tendered in court state.
The former A Current Affair reporter is expected to be sentenced next week for two child porn charges relating to “fantasy talk” online,
Earlier at a Sydney court this morning, McCormack, 43, sat quietly behind his lawyer, Sam Macedone, who told Magistrate Jennifer Atkinson that negotiations over the agreed statement of the facts in the case had been finalised.
“Based on the tender of new those facts, we would like to enter a plea of guilty,” he said.
The former Nine journalist was arrested by officers from the NSW Sex Crimes Child Exploitation Internet Unit as he drove near Moore Park on April 6. The Joint Agency Child Exploitation Team, which specialises in tackling crimes against children, tipped the NSW police off about McCormack.
Outside Sydney’s Downing Centre court building, Mr Macedone said there were never any images sent online by his client.
“The delay has been trying to get an agreed set of facts, then as always admit to what he’s done. However, the facts weren’t exactly correct. Now that that’s been done, the facts have been sorted out, we’ve entered pleas of guilty, and now looking forward to a sentencing date which we will hopefully get on the 6th of October,” he said.
“I just wanted to make it quite clear that there were never any images that were traded between Ben and anyone else of any child exploitation material.
“It was nothing more than fantasy talk but no transporting of images. That’s what I wanted, that’s what we’ve got, so we’re now pleading guilty and we’ll move on from there.”
Detectives executed warrants at Nine’s headquarters at Willoughby, north of Sydney, and at McCormack’s Alexandria home in the inner west, seizing computers and a mobile phone.
After he was arrested and charged Channel Nine suspended McCormack.
McCormack will return to the NSW District Court for sentencing.
McCormack, who is on bail, is not allowed to access the internet, except for employment purposes, or have any contact with children under the age of 16, unless the child is a family member and another adult is present.