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Retired South Australian official Ian Schapel, 67, sexually exploited children in the Philippines


Despicable sex predator paid poor families in the Philippines to abuse their own children, as young as three, as he saw on Skype – while his ailing threats against their parents are revealed

  • Ian Schapel, 67, interacts with poor families in the Philippines through social media
  • He convinced them to abuse their daughters for $30 in front of the camera while he watched
  • There were at least 13 female victims between the ages of three and nine
  • Retired SA official pleaded guilty to 50 offenses in court on Tuesday

A retired official took advantage of poor Southeast Asian families by convincing them to abuse their own children online in exchange for money or ‘starve’, a court has heard.

Ian Schapel, 67, connected with poor families in the Philippines via WhatsApp and Skype and paid them up to $30 to perform sexual acts with their young daughters in front of the camera while he watched.

The former senior HR manager, who worked for the South Australian Department of Premier and Cabinet, had at least 13 victims, aged between three and nine, who were abused 74 times.

He was arrested in February last year with more than 52,000 images and videos of child exploitation material in his possession, the ABC reports.

The court heard that the retired South Australian official (pictured) would meet poverty-stricken parents in the Philippines on social media and then persuade them to abuse their own young daughters online in exchange for money

Schapel pleaded guilty on Tuesday to 50 offenses in Adelaide court, including 41 counts of sexual activity with a child outside Australia, using a carriage to access child exploitation material and possession of child exploitation material.

“He chased the economic vulnerabilities of the counselors and the children and acknowledged that most of the communication was initiated by the adult women who contacted him and asked for money to buy food or medicine,” federal prosecutor Krista Breckweg told the court. .

‘The accompanying chat logs showed that the perpetrator directed the counselors what he wanted the children to do.’

Ms. Breckweg said Schapel chose the Philippines because the poor economic conditions and lack of efficient law enforcement in the country made it easier to attack young girls.

He called the live recordings “shows” and would threaten the families and attendant if they did not comply with his requests.

Ian Schapel, 67, (pictured) admitted on Tuesday that he committed 50 child sex offenses in Adelaide court

“You cheated on me for the last time, you made a promise, you and your daughter would do anything and again you failed … you are now starving,” Breckweg told the families, 7News reports.

The court heard Schapel paid only $30 for each of the “shows,” and would only make payments when they were over.

Schapel’s attorney Chris Kummerow said his client was the “go to man” at work but was “lonely, insecure and afraid of social contact” in his personal life.

The government official’s violation escalated when he retired in 2017, the court heard, after which he went on vacation abroad every year.

Kummerow said Schapel’s interactions with the families were a “world of fantasy” for him, but his arrest acted as a “wake-up call” and he “feels an incredible sense of regret.”

He will be convicted in February.



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