A West Australian man will spend 14 years and six months in jail after being pleading guilty to paying $443,000 AUD to commission the livestreamed sex abuse of numerous Filipino children. The sentence, which includes a non-parole period of nine years, was handed down on 26 May 2022 but backdated to April 2021.
Phillip John Ryan used the internet, including platforms like Skype, to prey on 69 child victims, the youngest being a 7-year-old girl. A 12-year-old girl was also among three victims who were persistently sexually abused by Ryan.
In some cases, he would pay as little as $19 AUD to Filipino traffickers, or facilitators, for them to livestream the sexual abuse of girls in their care. In other instances, he would contact the girls themselves over the internet. In all cases, he wired them money in exchange for the abuse.
Following Ryan’s arrest in 2020, forensic examination of his electronic devices found internet correspondence between him and dozens of Filipinos, as well as substantial evidence of child abuse materials. An Australian Federal Police referral then led Philippine authorities, with support from IJM, to rescue 15 victims and arrest five female traffickers in the province of Surigao del Sur. Some of the victims were biological children of the traffickers.
Ryan pleaded guilty to 58 offences in November 2021.
Last week’s judgment acknowledged that although there was no physical contact between Ryan and his victims, his moral culpability was
“particularly serious by virtue of the manner in which you dealt with each particular child.”
The strength of the sentencing reflects the fact that the victims were real children who suffered abuse in real life.
IJM commends the work of Australian police and their collaboration with Philippine authorities. We are proud to be a founding member of the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Center (PICACC), the interagency collaboration that made the rescue in this case possible.
Read the article in The West Australian.
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