Rugby Australia executive James Selby charged with child abuse picture offences amid AFP probe
A Rugby Australia executive has been charged with four offences amid an ongoing Australian Federal Police investigation into a network of alleged offenders accessing online child sexual abuse material.
The AFP raided a Surry Hills residence on Friday and arrested 41-year-old James Selby, seizing his laptop and mobile phone, which allegedly contained child abuse material.
Selby is charged with allegedly using a carriage service to solicit child abuse material, possessing or controlling child abuse material, using a carriage service to access child abuse material and causing child abuse material to be transmitted to self using a carriage service.
The AFP allege Selby paid an overseas party to produce child abuse material, and that instant messaging conversations on his mobile phone described the abuse of children.
Selby has been refused bail and appeared at Parramatta Local Court on September 18.
He will next face court on November 10 and, if convicted, faces a maximum prison term of 15 years per offence.
A spokesperson for Rugby Australia confirmed to NCA NewsWire Selby’s employment had been terminated, effective immediately.
He worked for Rugby Australia for over three years in an administrative, office-based capacity and is not suggested to have worked directly with the organisation’s coaching staff or players.
According to his Linkedin profile, Selby worked in sports administration roles for over twenty years, inlcuding with Football Federation Australia, the Australian Sports Commission and Athletics Australia.
“RA takes all matters relating to the behaviour of its employees very seriously,” a statement from Rugby Australia read.
“RA has high standards of conduct and behaviour, to ensure that we reflect and protect the diversity of the communities that we are a part of.
“The RA Board met and resolved to terminate the individual’s employment effective immediately.”
Selby was arrested in connection to Operation Arkstone, through which the AFP is targeting a network of alleged offenders sharing child abuse material online.
Since February 2020, Operation Arkstone has arrested 21 individuals, 15 of whom resided in NSW. So far, the operation has removed 55 Australian child victims from harm as well as 11 animals.
“The conversations and content produced and shared online about the abuse of young children is horrifically overwhelming,” said AFP Detective sergeant Joel Wheeler, speaking generally.
“AFP child protection officers and digital forensic specialists examine every conversation, video and image identified during a search warrant to find the child being abused and stop not only their direct abusers, but the other child sex offenders that fund this industry and help people profit from the atrocious end result.”
Operation Arkstone is ongoing.
Originally published as Rugby Australia executive charged with four child abuse picture offences amid AFP investigation
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