Child sex offences stacking up
A sex offender has pleaded guilty to taking intimate photos of a four-year-old girl on the same day it was revealed up to 30 Kiwi children have been exploited online by paedophiles in the past four years.
Dutch-born Ronald Van Der Plaat, 78, appeared at the Waitakere District Court yesterday where he admitted the charge of taking intimate visual recordings. He will be sentenced in March.
The unrepentant sex offender was released from jail in 2010 after serving 10 years of a 14-year sentence for committing "bizarre and depraved" acts of "indescribable cruelty" against his daughter.
The crimes were carried out over a 23-year incarceration in the Pacific Islands and at their Te Atatu home.
His offending included hanging her from the ceiling by her ankles before abusing her, making her pregnant with a baby she later miscarried, and raping her after giving her overdoses of drugs and alcohol.
Van Der Plaat was released after a parole hearing where the department proposed special conditions for his release.
In September, he was recalled to prison after a neighbour spotted him in Auckland with a young girl. He had been taking the child on trips and to motels.
Van Der Plaat's parole conditions included not spending the night away from home and not having contact with anyone under the age of 16 unless supervised by an adult approved by a probation officer.
He breached that condition by being caught on surveillance cameras at an unnamed museum on September 2, ''walking beside a girl of Asian descent, holding her hand''.
He was also charged with two further breaches, one for staying overnight at a motel in Orewa on three occasions, the other for having contact with the four-year-old girl at the motel on three occasions.
Van Der Plaat pleaded guilty to those charges on November 14 and will be sentenced in February.
Police then laid the fourth charge of taking intimate visual recordings of the girl.
Yesterday, it was revealed nearly 30 New Zealand children have been exploited for online pornography in the last four years.
Since a special police unit was set up in 2008, 11 people have been caught taking pictures or videos of children. Some of the offenders had multiple victims, and of the 26 children, four were exploited by criminals from the United States, Italy, Finland and Canada.
The head of Online Child Exploitation Across New Zealand (OCEANZ) said although international crime rings are involved, there is also a large number of individuals searching for vulnerable children online.
Members of the OCEANZ squad coordinate international operations into online paedophile networks and patrol social network sites to identify child sexual offenders.
The unit is in contact with similar groups overseas every day.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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