Face-to-face with accused paedophile

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 15 Maret 2015 | 23.08

60 Minutes followed police as they arrested Scully, and he agreed to an interview from a Manila jail with presenter Tara Brown, with airs in a special report on Channel 9 Sunday at 8.30pm.

The eyes of Peter Scully, who is accused of horrific crimes. Source: Supplied

HE'S a tall, slim, middle-aged man with grey hair and a composed demeanour. But this ordinary-looking person is accused of being Australia's worst paedophile.

Peter Scully is charged with some of the vilest acts known to humanity, including the torture and sexual abuse of children as young as 18 months old, human trafficking and the murder of a 12-year-old.

The 51-year-old from Melbourne was arrested in the Philippines, from where he had allegedly been running a global paedophile ring, distributing videos for money online.

The 51-year-old is in prison in Manila after fleeing Melbourne in 2011. Source: Supplied

60 Minutes followed police as they arrested Scully, and he agreed to an interview from a Manila jail with presenter Tara Brown, with airs in a special report on Channel 9 tonight at 8.30pm.

"I felt shaken from the moment I started following the story," Tara said. "It was chilling, to be face-to-face with him. He was strangely detached. He approaches it almost in a philosophical way, as if he wasn't there."

The reporters who watched the video of footage that allegedly shows Scully engaged in depraved acts were anything but detached, with seasoned journalists weeping and calling for him to be physically harmed.

But Scully seemed unmoved. "It was an interesting study in humanity," Tara told news.com.au "It was almost as if he was talking about someone else."

He obfuscated on some questions and quibbled ages, but at no point did he admit or deny anything. Neither did he ever say he was sorry, although he said he felt some "remorse".

"It was completely impossible to relate to him, because he was so detached," added Tara. He seemed relaxed and in control, she said.

Scully was tracked to the Philippines after a global manhunt for a ringleader of a paedophile syndicate. Source: Supplied

Scully was the target of a global manhunt led by the Australian Federal Police and special agents in the Philippines.

Business associates from Australia said he had brought a Malaysian teenager to Melbourne, married her and then pimped her out as a prostitute. In 2009, he was investigated for fraud, and he moved to the Phillippines in 2011, never being prosecuted for the 117 fraud and deception charges.

He is now charged with the abuse of eight Filipina girls aged 18 months to 13-years-old over three years, after allegedly establishing a lucrative online child pornography business.

He was allegedly assisted by two girlfriends, one of whom was just 14 when he reportedly bought her off the street.

He was controlling and manipulative, police claim. All the alleged victims were from impoverished families — Scully or his girlfriends allegedly offered them food and took them home, or paid families for their children, in one case with just a five kilo bag of rice.

After his arrest, police found a skeleton buried under a house he had rented. Scully had allegedly strangled one of the girls to death.

"He charmed his way into many people's lives by offering them what they wanted most — food, shelter and education," said Tara. "It's hard to be in that situation and understand how a parent could hand over a child. It's wrenching to see people who are made vulnerable by poverty and trust."

Tara Brown says it was impossible to relate to someone so implacable. Source: Supplied

One 13-year-old girl said her family agreed she could do domestic work at Scully's home in 2012. Instead, she alleges, she was forced to perform sex acts with other young girls. "They told me they had to take pictures of me naked because there was an American who really wanted to see me naked ... and because the American will pay a large amount," she said.

She said she fled Scully's house after she was told he had sold her to a German, who was coming to collect her.

Scully was arrested after police made the link between allegations and the global paedophile ring and a hard drive of graphic material found in a raid in the Netherlands. Investigators claim the father of two also sold material to clients in Australia.

"There is a market. These people exist," says Tara. "The really frightening thing is they walk among us invisible."

Scully in Mindanao after his arrest. Source: AFP

Scully is writing a journal, which he says will explain everything. He says he is "seeking some understanding of what he's done within himself," says Tara.

In the meantime, he faces a life sentence if he is convicted.

The Philippines is a major hub of a billion-dollar global child cybersex industry, with operators aided by widespread poverty and legal loopholes that allow them to remain anonymous.

But authorities said this footage is the most shocking they have seen, containing images of terrible violence that they will never be able to erase.

"It was upsetting and confronting to be exposed to this very dark side of life," says Tara. "But it's important to know this happens."

Watch 60 Minutes on Sundays at 8.30pm on Channel Nine.

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