Ex-cop pleads guilty to copying sex video

CHRISTOPHER KNAUS
Last updated 17:45 14/01/2014

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An Australian ex-cop has pleaded guilty to copying a private sex video he found on the mobile phone of a victim who came to police for help last year.

Alexander Preston-Stanley, 27, appeared in court for the first time on Tuesday, for crimes described as a "gross and substantial" breach of his duty, and an abuse of the trust the victim had placed in the police.

Preston-Stanley was working as a probationary constable at the Tuggeranong Police Station in April last year, when the victim came forward seeking to make a complaint about a crime.

The officer took the woman's mobile phone as part of the investigation and, while browsing through its contents, discovered a video of the victim having sex.

He used his own phone to record a copy of the explicit material, and later showed it to another officer.

Some time later, Preston-Stanley and the same officer paid a visit to the victim's house, and the colleague realised she was the woman in the explicit video.

The officer reported Preston-Stanley's crime, sparking an internal investigation within the Australian Federal Police.

Preston-Stanley made full admissions during that investigation and resigned from ACT Policing.

He was charged with making a record of prescribed information, a crime under secrecy provisions of the Australian Federal Police Act.

The case came before the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday, where Commonwealth prosecutors described Preston-Stanley's actions as a breach of his duty, an abuse of his position, and an abuse of the victim's trust in police.

The prosecution said the victim's privacy had been violated in a "very serious manner", and the circumstances of the video were humiliating and embarrassing when seen by someone who did not have her permission.

The court heard there were only a handful of similar cases involving officers making records of prescribed information in the past, and the prosecution asked for more time to obtain a pre-sentence report on Preston-Stanley.

The officer's defence team said he had hoped to have the matter dealt with on Tuesday, saying it was a sign of his contrition.

But Magistrate Beth Campbell said it was a matter that needed "careful attention and time", saying it was safer to get a pre-sentence report.

The case will come back before the court on March 25.

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- Canberra Times

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