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State MP's staffer charged over child abuse material


An adviser to a state MP has had his employment terminated after being charged with child abuse-related offences.

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Ben Waters, 38, faced Adelaide Magistrates Court on Wednesday after being charged along with another man whose identity has been suppressed.

Their alleged offending came to light after links were made to previous investigations, including one involving a man in Victoria.

In a statement, Labor MP and opposition human services spokeswoman Nat Cook said she was shocked to learn of the charges against her staff member.

“As soon as I was made aware of the charges, I took immediate action and advised the Department of Treasury and Finance and requested that his employment be immediately terminated and that all access to buildings and IT be blocked,” she said.

“I also advised the Labor Party who I understand held an emergency state executive meeting this morning and expelled this person as a member.”

Waters is charged with one count of producing child abuse material through a carriage service and four counts of possessing child exploitation material.

The other man, a 37-year-old from Port Lincoln, has been charged with two counts of producing child exploitation material, one count of indecent filming and with possessing and disseminating exploitation material.

The Australian Federal Police said the allegations stemmed from records of online conversations between a 39-year-old SA man and a 27-year-old Victorian man about the sexual abuse of children.

When Victorian investigators arrested the Melbourne man earlier this year and forensically analysed his devices, they allegedly found links to the two SA men.

The AFP said investigators found a large amount of child abuse material on a USB device when they searched the Adelaide man’s home this week.

“Police are working to identify the children in the vision seized from the warrants, to check on their welfare and remove them from harm,” the AFP said in a statement.

“Inquiries are also ongoing into any other potential offending.”

Waters has been remanded to appear in court again in April while the other man will next appear in the Supreme Court in a bid to have his suppression order continued.


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