An Australian man who told authorities about sexual text messages between his stepdaughter and her boyfriend has been arrested for child pornography.
Ashan Ortell, 57, saved sexually explicit texts that were shared between his stepdaughter and her boyfriend onto his computer. He tried to report the boyfriend to police, showing them the messages and photos he had stored on his hard drive.
But in an ironic twist, the cops charged Ortell instead of the young man his stepdaughter was seeing, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
He confessed to copying the naked images on to his computer and USB stick despite warnings he would be prosecuted, according to Inquisitr.
Ortell was caring for his ex-wife’s 15-year-old daughter as well as his own three children after he and the girl’s mother separated in 2013. He soon learned that the teenager was sending nude photos and "sexting" her boyfriend.
Upset, Ortell sequestered her phone and showed it to school officials. The stepfather allegedly was not satisfied with the school’s response so he took it upon himself to call the police.
But before returning the cell phone to his stepdaughter, he copied all the images and sexual texts onto a USB stick and also to his computer. Once he told authorities about the files, they warned him he would be charged with possession of child pornography.
Authorities raided and seized his computer and USB drives following his refusal to delete the pictures. Police found 18 illicit images on his electronic devices.
Ortell has been sentenced to one year of probation and is forced to register as a sex offender.
Judge Jane Patrick said the case was “very unusual” since it differed from most other child pornography cases.
“You kept the images, I am satisfied, because you were very concerned about what and been going on and foolishly decided that this was the way to deal with it,” said Patrick.
“There is no suggestion of any exploitation of them by anybody. You made no attempt to conceal the images. In fact you were so concerned that you contacted the authorities about the images.”