http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-13/man-jailed-for-exploiting-poverty-stricken-children/5669120

Brett Le Gassick: Melbourne man jailed for exploiting poverty-stricken children in Philippines

By court reporter Peta Carlyon

Thu 14 Aug 2014, 10:59am

A Melbourne man has been jailed for 11 years for sexually exploiting children living in poverty in the Philippines.

Brett Le Gassick, 43, pleaded guilty in the Victorian County Court to 23 Commonwealth child sex offences.

The court heard between 2009 and November 2013 he procured 54 young girls, most between 10 and 12, to engage in sexual activities while he watched online from his home the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick.

He also exposed himself to his victims, the youngest of whom was four years old.

Le Gassick also pleaded guilty to two Victorian charges of possessing and producing child pornography.

The court heard he made 56 international bank transfers to accounts in the Philippines.

He flew to Manila in 2012 but was denied entry and returned to Australia the following day.

The court heard he had planned to stay for 20 days, had packed condoms and had written “clean PC” on a to-do list.

He had asked some of the girls if they would meet him to have sex if he travelled to the Philippines.

In sentencing, Justice Elizabeth Gaynor told Le Gassick his offending involved “the wholesale exploitation of vulnerable poverty-stricken children, whose willingness to engage in the activities for which you paid only highlighted the desperateness of their situation.”

“The number of victims was extremely large… the amount of damage done to these girls as a result of your criminal activity is incalculable,” she said.

“It is horrendous that the lives of these children, who must already navigate enormous problems brought about by their socio-economic position in life, should be rendered so much more difficult by the sexual exploitation and degradation they experience and their suffering is immense.”

Justice Gaynor said the only appropriate sentence was a lengthy term of imprisonment.

Le Gassick will be eligible for parole in eight years.

His sentencing follows a similar case of Melbourne Patrick Goggins, 68, last month.

Goggins pleaded guilty to more than 20 child sex offences involving the exploitation of young children in the Philippines and was also jailed for 11 years.

 

http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/man-pursued-83-filipino-kids-for-web-sex/story-e6frfku9-1227018208714

Man paid for Filipino kids web sex shows

August 08, 2014 5:30PM

AN Australian man who paid Filipino children as young as nine for online sex shows would try to barter down the cost of the performances from his desperate victims.

MELBOURNE truck driver Brett Geoffrey Le Gassick, 43, used chatrooms to pursue 83 children in the Philippines for sex shows and explicit conversations.

He paid dozens of young girls between $20 and $35 to act out sexual instructions using webcams.

Crown prosecutor Morgan Brown said the children’s participation in the offending highlighted how desperate they were.

“Instead of viewing these victims as children, they’re essentially commodities,” Ms Brown told the Victorian County Court on Friday.

“When negotiating these sex shows the accused barters to get a better price.”

Le Gassick also attempted to pay for two under-age children to engage in a sex act with a 32-year-old, the court heard.

At times he paid for sex shows only to have the girls walk away once the money was transferred.

In 2012 he spent four months trying to recover $30 that he paid for a 22-year-old man to have sex with a 10-year-old girl, telling the man he was going to close his bank account because of the scam.

“So many poor families not getting my money anymore cos of scammers like you, I hope you feel good that you take food from all their mouths,” Le Gassick wrote.

He told a 12-year-old girl who took money but didn’t perform: “You bad to me. Keep do that you go to jail.”

He also used screen shots of the sex performances to produce child pornography.

When police raided his Brunswick home in January they found 567 child porn images and 20 videos, the court heard.

Defence barrister Steve Preece said Le Gassick knew what he was doing was wrong but told himself the fact he was “helping” the children by paying them was a “silver lining”.

He said Le Gassick had initially engaged with online chat groups to find a partner.

“He lives a very lonely life,” Mr Preece said.

Le Gassick on Friday pleaded guilty to 25 offences relating to causing and procuring a child for sexual activity.

Judge Elizabeth Gaynor said if Le Gassick had been sent to a sex offender program after being jailed in 2007 for possessing child porn it might have made a difference.

“Inaccessibility of appropriate programs is really a worry,” Judge Gaynor said.

“You’re so often dealing with people whose capacity to be deterred by a jail sentence simply isn’t there.”

Le Gassick will be sentenced next week.

 

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