News State NSW News A Current Affair‘s Ben McCormack pleads guilty to child porn charges

A Current Affair‘s Ben McCormack pleads guilty to child porn charges

Ben McCormack Court
Ben McCormack leaves the Downing Centre court in Sydney. Photo: AAP
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Former Nine Network reporter Ben McCormack has pleaded guilty to child pornography charges, and could face a maximum of 15 years in jail.

The 43-year-old faced Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday morning on two charges of using a carriage service to transmit, publish or promote child pornography.

New South Wales detectives started investigating McCormack after a tip-off from the Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team.

They stopped him in his car at Moore Park in April, and shortly afterwards searched a unit in Alexandria and the A Current Affair (ACA) office in Willoughby where they seized computers, a mobile phone and electronic storage devices.

The Nine Network suspended McCormack from his role as an ACA reporter after his arrest, and he later resigned.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail.

Dozens of explicit messages

According to an agreed statement of facts, McCormack exchanged dozens of explicit messages with a 27-year-old man via Skype between April 2015 and February 2017.

He also sent a video of himself to the man in January 2016.

“The communications amount to child pornography,” the statement of facts said.

“The accused was using the user name ‘oz4skinboi’ and during the communications outlined his sexual interest in young boys.”

The facts also revealed that while it was evident from the
communication logs that the accused and the male exchanged a number of images, the material was not available.

“Accordingly there is no evidence that the images sent by the accused were of children in pornographic poses or activities,” the statement said.

‘Nothing more than fantasy talk’

Outside court, McCormack’s lawyer Sam Macedone said his client and police were now on the same page.

“Ben has always admitted to what he’s done; however, the facts weren’t exactly correct,” he said.

“Now that has been sorted out, we’ve entered pleas of guilty and now we’re looking forward to our sentencing date.”

The matter will be moved to the District Court for sentencing on October 6.

“I just wanted to make it quite clear, that there were never any images that were traded between Ben and anyone else of any child exploitation material,” Mr Macedone said.

“It was nothing more than fantasy talk.”