Former journalist Ben McCormack played dedicated volunteer lifesaver but he was secretly lusting after young boys. Picture: David Moir.
Former journalist Ben McCormack played dedicated volunteer lifesaver but he was secretly lusting after young boys. Picture: David Moir.

Young, sick and dangerous: the new face of paedophilia

YOUNG, charismatic, sometimes famous and so sincere: the new breed of sick paedophiles preying on children are not the grubby old men of the stereotype.

They hang around on the internet rather than public toilets and playgrounds.

They are not obvious creeps with greasy ponytails who a parent could more easily suspect and keep other children away.

The new type of paedophile is often a professional in well paid job with a public profile.

They are TV reporter Ben McCormack, good looking YMCA worker Jonathan Lord, suave father Benjamin Lawson and goofy nanny supervisor Shannon McCoole.

They are jokester and showman, dance teacher Grant Davies, and IVF scientist and rugby union player Michael Quinn.

What they do have in common with the old sleazy image of the paedophile is an absolute and sick obsession with children.

The new face of paedophiles is a sobering reality for their potential victims and their families because they are hiding in plain sight.

As the Sunday Telegraph reported, many paedophiles are under 40 and male, but they come from all backgrounds and occupations and in many cases seem "like really nice guys".

The running average inmate population in NSW for child sex offenders is around 1500.

These include older men who are serving prison time for crimes they committed against children when they themselves were young men under the age of 40.

A Current Affair reporter Ben McCormack was a successful journalist but hid a dark secret life.
A Current Affair reporter Ben McCormack was a successful journalist but hid a dark secret life.

Like the late Dennis Raymond Ferguson, who raped children in a hotel room with his partner Alexandra Brooks, or deviant Catholic priest Gerard Ridsdale, they were sinister old men.

Former YMCA childcare worker Jonathan Lord is serving 12 years for abusing young boys. Picture: AAP.
Former YMCA childcare worker Jonathan Lord is serving 12 years for abusing young boys. Picture: AAP.

But how do parents or even police recognise monsters like Sydney hotel worker Bryan Walter Beattie, who paid as little as $12 to watch live, sexual abuse of Filipino children on Skype.

Beattie - who can be heard on videotapes instructing a Filipino man while children as young as eight years old are raped - did so from the comfort of his Surry Hills, Syndey, lounge room.

The self-confessed gaming nerd was also a member of a private Facebook group for paedophiles who would share child abuse material with each other.

Beattie is of an increasing number of child sex offenders to use online platforms to exploit their twisted desires.

But how do police track them down and bring them to justice?

Grant Davies was outwardly charismatic and popular — but he had preyed on children before and it had been covered up.
Grant Davies was outwardly charismatic and popular — but he had preyed on children before and it had been covered up.

According to a senior NSW police officer formerly with the Sex Crimes Squad, a key trait police keep seeing in the new breed of paedophile is charisma.

Davies, above, with a student.
Davies, above, with a student.

Detective Chief Superintendent John Kerlatec, director of the NSW State Crime Command's Serious Crime Directorate said offenders very likability is what helps them net their victims.

"A common denominator is actually charisma," Superintendent Kertalec told the Sunday Telegraph.

"When we've charged a teacher, we will often be bombarded with emails saying, "no it couldn't possibly be that person".

"If they weren't likeable, they would have no chance of building a rapport."

These are the new breed of paedophiles.

 

BEN MCCORMACK

Occupation: Current affairs reporter

Age on arrest: 42

Crimes: Use a carriage service to transmit child pornography.

Personality: As a foot-in-the-door reporter and Channel 9 star, McCormack came across as ambitious but affable.

Dressed in his TV suit, he doggedly pursue those who wronged others, like dole bludgers, fraudsters and sex offenders like Robert Hughes.

But his other side was beach-loving Ben, the keen surf lifesaver happy to volunteer his spare time teaching young nippers the ways of the waves.

As his vile sex tapes reveal, McCormack deliberately placed himself where he could ogle the "perfect bodies" of little boys in Speedos

As Oz4skinboi online the "proud ped" discussed having sex with boys, "I want to make love to one so badly."

Sentence: Sentenced in November.JONATHAN LORD

YMCA childcare worker Jonathan Lord was a popular before-and-after school care officer who abused young boys. Picture: AAP.
YMCA childcare worker Jonathan Lord was a popular before-and-after school care officer who abused young boys. Picture: AAP.

Occupation: YMCA childcare worker

Age on arrest:

Crimes: Pleaded guilty to 29 child sexual and indecent charges against 12 young boys in southern Sydney.

Personality: Lord worked at a YMCA crèche and in the organisation's before-and-after school care program. He also worked privately as babysitter

Sentence: A minimum six years prison, maximum of 12.

Childcare worker Shannon McCoole was highly popular but he was running a dark web internet service for paedophiles.
Childcare worker Shannon McCoole was highly popular but he was running a dark web internet service for paedophiles.

SHANNON MCCOOLE

Occupation: Government childcare worker, NannySA

Age on arrest: 30

Crimes: Sexually abused seven children, including a disabled child, one with autism and an 18-month-old. Ran a "dark web" internet service for paedophiles, for which he was convicted of persistent sexual exploit­ation of children, sexual intercourse with children, and the production and dissemination of child pornography.

Sentence: 35 years, for 18 state and two federal offences.

Personality: Highly regarded by colleagues, "everybody loved him" and there was "competition" to secure him to work in a number of childcare houses.

BENJAMIN LAWSON

Occupation: Mechanic

Age on arrest: 30

Crimes: Inciting a man on Twitter to anally penetrate that man's daughter.

Personality: Handsome and able to conceal his base desires in a marriage and job and engage with people on social media.

Sentence: A maximum five years jail.

Former RG DANCE director Grant Davies with a pupil. Picture: Facebook
Former RG DANCE director Grant Davies with a pupil. Picture: Facebook

GRANT DAVIES

 

Occupation: Dance teacher

Age on arrest: 39

Crimes: 47 child sex offences against nine victims aged as young as nine.

Personality: Friends described him as "friendly and charismatic". A quirky jokester who promised pupils and their mothers that he would make the little girls stars, Grant Davies took every opportunity to get close to his prey. He was so charismatic he even convinced one mother to give him naked photos of her child. Davies also travelled to the US with his sister and company partner to appear on the Dance Moms show with Abby Lee Miller. His sister did not know that he was molesting his students, but told a royal commission that she should have done more to protect children from her brother.

Grant Davies had been investigated previously for child sexual abuse but managed to cover it up and continue on.

Sentence: 24 years prison.

Michael Quinn was well-liked as a scientist and as an amateur rugby union player in Melbourne.
Michael Quinn was well-liked as a scientist and as an amateur rugby union player in Melbourne.

MICHAEL QUINN

Occupation: IVF geneticist

Age: 33

Crimes: Attempting to pay a pimp $260 so he could rape a six-year-old boy.

Personality: Well-liked professionally and as an amateur ruby union player.

Sentence: Twelve years in a Californian prison.

Central Coast primary school teacher Rickie Eggleton was convicted of abusing a seven-year-old student. Picture: Peter Clark
Central Coast primary school teacher Rickie Eggleton was convicted of abusing a seven-year-old student. Picture: Peter Clark

RICKIE WILLIAM EGGLETON

Occupation: Primary schoolteacher

Age: 33

Crimes: Ten counts of child abuse, including abusing a seven-year-old girl

Personality: Engaged and groomed young girls

Sentence: 16 years in prison.

Michael Quinn, convicted in the US with child sex offences, was a scientist and popular rugby player.
Michael Quinn, convicted in the US with child sex offences, was a scientist and popular rugby player.
Old style paedophile, the late Dennis Raymond Ferguson.
Old style paedophile, the late Dennis Raymond Ferguson.
Davies handcuffed and in custody. Picture: Dan Himbrechts.
Davies handcuffed and in custody. Picture: Dan Himbrechts.

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