180 families warned as alleged child sex offender unmasked
SA Police will send letters to 180 northern-suburbs families seeking information following the unmasking of a childcare worker accused of sex offences.
On Wednesday, the Adelaide Magistrates Court revoked a suppression order on the identity of Bronte John Ciracovitch.
Ciracovitch, 30, has yet to plead to one count of maintaining an unlawful sexual relationship with a minor.
He is also charged with aggravated counts of producing and possessing child exploitation material.
Previously, the court has heard some of that material was found on his phone and relates to the childcare centre he worked at.
Ciracovitch was working at a northern-suburbs childcare centre when he was arrested in September last year.
At the time, the Elizabeth Magistrates Court imposed a suppression upon his identity in order to allow police time to complete their investigations.
On Wednesday, however, counsel from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions asked that secrecy order be revoked.
They said detectives wanted to send letters to 180 families connected to the centre in order to alert them to the allegations against Ciracovitch and make further inquiries.
They argued that, if the suppression was to remain, police should be granted an exemption to send their letter regardless.
Counsel for Ciracovitch asked the order remain in force, saying it was "appalling" that police would "name and shame" a defendant in order to garner further evidence.
They said their client's case was special, warning members of his family would suffer hardship were Ciracovitch's identity published.
The Advertiser, however, said there were no special circumstances in Ciracovitch's case warranting a suppression order.
It argued that a legal change last March, which abolished automatic anonymity for alleged sex offenders, showed Parliament's clear intention that such cases were of public interest.
It further argued long-settled case law, dating back more than a decade, held that courts must not consider an offender's family when determining questions of undue hardship.
Magistrate David McLeod said he was satisfied, having heard the arguments, there were no special circumstances and the suppression order should be revoked.
He remanded Ciracovitch in custody to face court again in May, when he will answer the charges.
Ciracovirch previously appeared in the Elizabeth Magistrates Court in September.
At that hearing, police alleged he had maintained an unlawful sexual relationship with a child by engaging in two or more unlawful sexual acts.
Those acts were allegedly committed between December 31, 2019 and September 21, 2020.
Police further alleged the child exploitation material was produced, while other abuse material was in Ciracovitch's possession, at Burton between those same dates.
The offences are considered aggravated because the child allegedly depicted in the abuse material is under the age of 14.
Police told the court they considered the alleged offending to be serious, adding Ciracovitch was the only male employee at the childcare centre.
"There are images on the phone which relate to that childcare centre he was an employee at," they said.
The Education Department has been contacted for comment.
Originally published as 180 families warned as alleged childcare paedophile unmasked