Two gay fathers have been sentenced in the US for sexual exploitation of their young son.
‘It’s just really a tragedy. It’s extremely depraved,’ said Queensland detective inspector Jon Rouse, who was involved in the case and leads a task force investigating online child exploitation and abuse, to AFP. ‘What’s pretty sad about this one is the way this child came into their lives.’
The Australian couple were arrested in February 2012 after authorities in California took the child into foster care four months earlier. At the time the couple told Sydney Morning Herald they were innocent.
Last weekend a judge found the two men, from Cairns in Queensland, guilty of child abuse and jailed one of them for 40 years, the other man awaits sentencing.
Police in Australia and the US worked to bring the couple to justice after police investigating a child sex offender in New Zealand found a photograph of their son, born via surrogate mother in Russia in 2005.
When police raided the couple’s home they found material on their laptops that led to their arrest and the removal of the boy from their care.
Rouse said the men were connected to a network of child sex offenders. ‘With this network just be rest assured that we will pursue them to the ends of the Earth to make sure each and every one of them faces justice for what their role has been in crimes against this child,’ he said to ABC on Tuesday.