Man allegedly broke in and sexually assaulted children
CHILD Protection investigators had the gut-wrenching task of informing two separate families their children had been victims of alleged sexual crimes during burglaries.
A 30-year-old Hervey Bay man was arrested on Friday and during the weekend charged with 33 offences including rape, indecent treatment of children under the age of 12, burglary, entering a dwelling with intent, making child exploitation material and wilful damage.
Child Protection Investigation Unit Detective Sergeant Melonie Geck said removing the accused from the community was a high priority for investigators.
"He's been charged with a number of offences, some of those are burglary and enter with intent and part of those offences are where these crimes against children occurred," she said.
"He was not known to the victims at any point.
"They are significant offences against children and we are still ongoing in our investigation trying to identify further victims."
The parents of the victims were unaware of the crimes until police made contact.
Investigators told the Chronicle the accused was known to police after executing a search warrant in May when devices containing child exploitation material were discovered.
The devices contained evidence of further alleged crimes against Hervey Bay children.
Detectives worked tirelessly to identify the victims.
"We are aware of four victims and we have identified three at this time," Det Sgt Geck said.
"It has been an ongoing investigation in getting these devices analysed.
"Fortunately, the Child Protection Investigation Unit spent a significant amount of time identifying victims.
"As soon we knew there was contact offences we were straight out to arrest the offender."
Since the crimes were committed, some of the victims and their families have moved from the Fraser Coast.
Detectives will travel interstate today to talk to more families affected by the alleged crimes with more charges expected to be laid.
For now, Det Sgt Geck said the community should be relieved.
"We wanted to make sure that we had as much evidence as we can to make sure he stays in custody," she said.
"We wanted him off the streets and not offending against any more children.
"The investigators put in a tremendous amount of effort in this, they are truly dedicated to what we do.
"At the end of the day, all we want to do is keep kids safe."
The accused has been remanded in custody until September.