Legal first: Child sex abuse slave targets paedophile’s cash
A Cambodian former child rape slave has made Australian legal history by asking a court to not only sentence her Adelaide-born abuser, but also order he financially compensate her.
On Wednesday, the District Court heard the case of Geoffrey William Moyle had assumed "national significance" because of the now-adult victim's unprecedented request.
If successful, she will set a precedent allowing victims from impoverished nations to use existing Commonwealth law to obtain reparation without separate, expensive lawsuits.
Meanwhile, The Advertiser can finally reveal the chain of evidence that led SA's Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team, or JACET, to Moyle's door and secured his guilty pleas.
The damning case spans not only downloaded materials and online conversations, but also self-made videos in which a distinctive growth on Moyle's skin gave away his complicity.
TO CATCH A PREDATOR
Moyle, 47, of Westbourne Park, has pleaded guilty to multiple counts of both basic and aggravated possession of child exploitation material.
He has also pleaded to five counts of having sex with, and four counts of committing an indecent act upon, a person outside Australia aged under 16 years.
The offences date back 15 years to a period in which, according to Moyle's CV, he worked as a "manager in poverty alleviation and economic progress in developing countries".
Previously, the court heard that, in 2009, US investigators identified a person calling themselves "Waka" on a dark web child exploitation site.
That person expressed an interest in Asian girls via a device registered to Moyle.
"Love my Asian girls, 8-12 years old but anyone pretty," he wrote.
"Waka" also posted multiple images and videos to a different site, calling his cache "the KLVN back catalogue".
Subsequently, in February 2019, Queensland Police tied the "Waka" posts to an Adelaide-based IP address that was hosting child exploitation material online.
Three months later, JACET arrested Moyle and seized his computers, as well as a USB thumb drive found on his bedside table.
On that USB, officers found videos of an Australian male sexually abusing Cambodian girls between the ages of 8 and 12 between 2002 and 2005.
VEINS AND SKIN TAGS
The court heard that data had been saved on the day before Moyle last left Cambodia, and had been accessed as recently as a month prior to his arrest.
The man in the videos had a "skin tag" on his inner thigh matching a growth on Moyle's leg in the same spot.
Officers later concluded veins, freckles and other skin markings on the man in the video matched Moyle's physical features.
One of the videos showed a green and black Adidas cap, identical to a hat owned by Moyle, in the background.
The videos' metadata was compared with Moyle's travel records and were found to coincide with the 40 trips he had taken to Cambodia over a 17-year period.
Each had been made with either an Olympus or Canon camera - the same two models owned by Moyle.
The court heard the child abuse files had sequential file names, with the next files in the sequence containing images of Moyle posing with a car he owned at the time.
Finally, the USB contained access passwords to one of the most notorious child exploitation websites on the so-called "dark web".
Those passwords were the names of cafes in and around the suburbs near Moyle's home.
Moyle, who had been granted bail following JACET's raid, was rearrested in July 2019 over the discovery of the Cambodian material.
At a subsequent Adelaide Magistrates Court bail hearing, his counsel asked he be released once again, saying he had been seeing a forensic psychologist to "deal with his tendencies".
They also outlined his history of ongoing back issues which, they said, caused him great pain.
Commonwealth prosecutors urged the court to keep Moyle in custody, saying records showed he had seen the psychologist on just two occasions since his first arrest.
They also tendered evidence showing Moyle had conducted an 11-minute Google search using the phrase "country with easy residency".
They argued that showed a desire to flee the country - but Moyle's counsel dismissed the search as "a flight of fancy".
Their client, they argued, was merely "considering a life after the resolution of the charges".
Bail was granted but prosecutors challenged that decision in the Supreme Court, warning some of Moyle's data remained encrypted and he could warn co-offenders in other countries.
The Supreme Court agreed, and Moyle was remanded in custody - he pleaded guilty to all charges in January last year.
On Wednesday, District Court Judge Paul Cuthbertson was scheduled to hear sentencing submissions for Moyle, but the victim's unprecedented bid caused a change in plans.
The woman, who cannot be identified, is one of the girls Moyle abused while visiting a Cambodian brothel.
She was abducted as a child, taken to that location and forced into sex work against her will.
The woman is being represented pro bono - or without charge - by one of SA's most prominent and respected barristers, Jonathan Wells QC.
He told the court existing Commonwealth law allowed a victim to ask for "reparations" from a sex offender, but no overseas person had ever attempted to do so.
He asked the court to immediately hear his client's application - or, in the alternative, to freeze all of Moyle's assets until it could be determined.
"One of the many unusual features of this case is that we have identified that the accused has assets," he said.
"There is at least a house in Adelaide which is of some value … it has two mortgages on it … one has a drawdown facility of just under $200,000.
"We ask Your Honour make an interim (freezing) order at least … the worst thing that could happen is a drawdown during the period of the adjournment."
He said the woman had one further request of the court.
"Commonwealth law says an offender is to be present in court for the reading of a victim impact statement … we request Moyle be here physically, not by video link," he said.
Edward Stretton-Smith, for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, said Federal law gave the court power to order reparations as part of sentencing.
"There is a national significance to this, and to the approach Your Honour takes," he said.
Heath Barklay SC, for Moyle, said he needed time to seek instructions from his client on both reparations and his presence in court.
"He's housed at Mount Gambier Prison … to be here for the victim impact statement means six to eight hours in the small, confined space of a prison van," he said.
"It's very, very painful for him.
"He has read the victim impact statement and he's deeply affected by it."
Judge Cuthbertson said he would ask the Department for Correctional Services to give Moyle "a ride in a decent motor car" to court.
He said he would need to hear detailed submissions on the question of compensation.
"I know, in a general sense, about people being forced to be in brothels in other countries, but I don't know the machinery of that - what 'forced' means in this case," he said.
"If she's entitled to some sort of compensation, how do I work out what (suffering) relates to what the accused has done, and what relates to what others did to her?
"And is the compensation to be based on Australian monetary values or Cambodian monetary values?
"I'm completely open-minded about that, and I'm not familiar with reparations under Commonwealth legislation because there's not been any in Australia before."
He remanded Moyle in custody until Thursday, to discuss the freezing order, and until March for submissions on reparation and sentencing.
*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.
Originally published as Legal first: Child sex slave targets SA paedophile's money