It’s a case that defies belief and goes against every principle of parenthood. An Australian man and his partner purchased a baby boy in Russia in 2005, presenting themselves as a devoted pair of gay fathers. In reality, behind closed doors, they were sexually abusing the boy and allowing others to do the same from when he was less than two years old. On the weekend Australian citizen Mark Newton was sentenced in the US to 40 years in prison. His partner Peter Truong is awaiting his sentence. Caro Meldrum Hanna has this report and a warning this story contains disturbing and explicit.
Sexual references. Testing this is Ginger from ABC far north. It was June 2010, ABC local radio presenter Ginger Gorman was setting out to meet an interesting family in Trinity Beach in Far North Queensland. I was putting together a series of interviews on gender. This particular interview was with a couple who were gay dads, and they had been on a long journey to have a child via surrogacy. On all appearances American man Mark Newton and his Australian partner, Peter Truong, were a proud couple. Pictured here posing with their adopted son who we will call Boy.
One. These are the sounds Ginger Gorman recorded that day, playing with the boy and his pet baby chickens in the backyard. Have you fed them this morning No. Oh, here’s one. One’s harder to get. Yeah Do you know what this chicken’s name is No, I haven’t figured out the name. I don’t think he’s named them yet. I gonna call them chick nasty. I felt no sense that anything was wrong. For all intents and purposes this appeared to be a loving family and a loving household. And I’ve gone over and over it in my brain.
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And I just did not feel that anything was wrong. Mark Newton and Peter Truong were masters of deception, starting with finding a surrogate mother abroad. I gave up my career and my job and went to Russia to oversee the process and so obviously we’re very dedicated to making this work. Our budget was anything that we earned, anything we had saved and anything that we could borrow to make this happen. And why was it your sperm that was used, and not Pete’s, Mark A flip of the coin I think. We’d gone back and forth several times.
This was the first of many lies told by Newton and Truong, whose depraved secret life was uncovered a year and a half later, when in February 2012 the men were arrested in California. Charged with producing and sharing child pornography and extreme acts of sexual exploitation. I’m profoundly shocked and disgusted by what’s happened. Since then I am just revolted and I find myself quite despairing about the turn of events. The purchase of a child to bring the child into your life for the explicit and sole purpose of exploiting him across a network of men is incredibly depraved and a very, very sad.
Tale for that little boy. The sad story of Boy 1’s life begins here in Russia. According to US court documents, in July 2005 his mother sold him to Newton and Truong for US$8,000. His birth papers were falsified to list Newton and his biological father, paving the way for Boy one to be adopted and brought to Queensland. Six years would pass until August 2011 when a chance discovery was made here in Wellington, New Zealand, by Jon Peacock, a senior internal affairs investigator. During the investigation of a Wellington man, the forensic analysis of his machine identified.
A series of images of Boy one who was shirtless. And they were quite contrived staged photos, if you like that just, as I said, didn’t sit right in terms of standard family holiday type snap shots. Peacock sent the images to police attached to Operation Argus in Brisbane. The specialised branch responsible for investigating online child exploitation and abuse. Our reaction is exactly what Jon’s was, and that’s what sparked the investigation. The images were the tip of the iceberg. Police discovered chat logs between Truong, Newton and the New Zealand man, where they bragged about having sex with their son Boy one, since.
He was little. And had given him to several other men around the world for sex, including two men based in Indianapolis in the US who are being investigated by police. When he was about five years of age the conspiracy was joined, we allege, by Mr Powell who is an attorney in Florida in the United States, and Mr Beda who is a tennis coach in Illinois in the United States. They got involved with Boy one, we allege, when he was about four to five years of age. The four men form part of a network known broadly as the Boy Lovers Network, men who.
Believe that the sexual abuse and rape of boys from as young as two years old to 10 years old, is a form of consensual love between man and boy. At its height, this chat board, Boylover had 70,000 members worldwide. In 2009 Boylover was smashed in a series of global raids with several Australian men arrested. Six hundred and seventy suspects have been identified. One hundred and eighty four arrests have already been made, and 230 children as victims of this terrible crimes have been identified and rescued from further harm.
They are intrinsically networked, they have a very strict code of communication between themselves and certainly as this case highlighted, their level of cooperation is usually very, very low. When task force Argos raided Truong and Newton’s Cairns home in October 2011, a mountain of material was discovered on encrypted hard drives and computer networks. It was handed over to US prosecutors. Took me personally one solid week working 10 hour days to get through all of the child pornography that was just the tutorials filmed in Australia, in France and in different places.
Across the US. One tutorial showed Boy one performing sex acts on Newton, with a disturbing level of sophistication when he wasn’t even two years old. When the boy turned five, in one month alone, Newton tutorial himself engaging in sexual activity with Boy one on more than a dozen different occasions. One way they control and manipulated this child was to appear to the outside world as a good parent. And one of the things they did was they trained this child how to answer questions from potential investigators. US authorities have found tutorials involving two more boys at Truong and Newton’s Cairns.
Home. I can’t say too much about the identity of that child. I can say that the victimisation of Boy two occurred in Australia. We can confirm that this conspiracy we allege involving Boy one, Boy two and others was international in scope. The authorities are now determined to track down every man who abused Boy one. With this network just be rest assured that we will pursue them to the ends of the Earth to make sure each and every one of them faces justice for what their role has been in crimes.