A teenage paedophile’s “abnormal penis” is to blame for his horrific collection of child abuse material, an Australian court has heard.
Rhys Jaden Friend, 19, from the Sunshine Coast, was arrested in May 2019 after sending a link that contained footage of boys aged between nine and 12 engaging in oral and anal sex.
He then sent a message to the unnamed recipient saying “now it’s your turn”, the Sunshine Coast Daily reports.
A police raid uncovered more than 2,000 images of child abuse, 186 of which were in the most serious category.
Friend pleaded guilty to possessing and distributing child exploitation material at the Maroochydore District Court on Monday.
His lawyer Mark Dixon said his client has autism and didn’t realise how serious his offending was, which was born out of an obsession with his own penis.
“[My client] was born with a condition that affects his genitalia,” Mr Dixon told the court.
“It is a condition that has required a number of surgeries over the years and it is a condition that led him to be obsessive over his, what he always viewed to be, an abnormal penis as opposed to what was normal.
“That seems to be the catalyst or the trigger for him initially looking for this material.”
Mr Dixon said his client was distributing the illegal material so he could be sent more in return.
When police searched Friend’s home in Sippy Downs they seized laptops and phones, uncovering 2,213 images and 122 movies on the teenager’s devices.
Some 186 of the images and films were in the most serious category of offending.
The court heard how police had no idea how much content was exchanged between Friend and other offenders because of the way in which it was sent.
Crown prosecutor Christopher Cook told the court that Friend was seeking out the material.
Judge Richard Jones said the material found on the teenager’s laptop was “repugnant”.
However he noted Friend had no previous criminal history. He also took into account his troubled childhood, his youth and his willingness to cooperate with police while sentencing.
Friend was sentenced the teenager to three years probation for possessing the child exploitation material, as well as one year in jail for distributing it.
The prison sentence was suspended for three years.
A conviction was recorded for distributing the child abuse material, but not possessing it.