Nelson man Jason Wayne Kerr paid women in Asia to see their children dance naked

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Jason Wayne Kerr was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison for offending including the sexual exploitation of children. Photo / Tracy Neal

WARNING: This story deals with child sexual exploitation material and may be upsetting.

A man who paid women in Asia to have their children dance naked, and also juggle and sing in front of a camera for him is now behind bars.

Jason Wayne Kerr closed his eyes and winced as he was photographed in the Nelson District Court today, moments before he was sentenced to three years and nine months in jail.

The sentence stemmed from the thousands of images and videos of child exploitation material he was found with and his video conversations with women overseas.

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Kerr pleaded guilty last year to three representative charges of possessing child exploitation material and a representative charge of dealing in people under 18 for sexual exploitation.

In addition to his jail term, he has now been registered as a child sex offender, for the “real and genuine risk” he posed to the safety of children, Judge David Ruth said at Kerr’s sentencing.

The 45-year-old’s engagement with child exploitation material spanned seven years and involved thousands of images across a range of devices.

Kerr told police when he was interviewed following his arrest that he began viewing child exploitation material in his early 20s, after experiencing depression and becoming socially withdrawn.

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Judge Ruth disagreed with Kerr’s argument that he had not viewed some of the worst material in his possession.

“If you get this stuff then you get what’s in it. There’s no point saying, ‘that part is horrible – I didn’t look at it’.

“I don’t believe that for one moment,” Judge Ruth said.

The summary of facts showed that on December 19, 2015, Kerr created an account with the cloud storage provider Mega Storage.

On April 29, 2018, he accessed a collection of child sexual abuse material made available to him by another user of the cloud storage service via a link, which was subsequently saved to his account.

The collection contained 686 files of which 178 were still images and 508 were videos.

The files include four video files depicting the horrific abuse of an 18-month-old child attributed to an Australian offender who was living in the Philippines at that time.

The collection remained in the defendant’s cloud account until Mega suspended it in April 2019.

In October 2021, police searched Kerr’s home in Richmond where they seized two computers and one mobile phone.

Using a remote access search warrant in conjunction with Kerr’s password and login details, inspectors from the Department of Internal Affairs reactivated Kerr’s Mega account and examined the contents.

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They found 7739 objectionable publications in the Mega account of which 5529 were still images and 2210 were videos.

Seventy images and 78 video files were classified at the worst level of objectionable publication for their portrayal of sadism or bestiality.

The mobile phone also contained 600 separate conversations on a specific social media application similar to other platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

The app features an in-app currency, called diamonds, that can be purchased using a credit card. Users can either spend the diamonds or donate larger value tokens to access exclusive video or file content from other users.

On March 16, 2021, Kerr installed the app on his mobile phone.

Between then and October 13, 2021, Kerr communicated with hundreds of other users he believed to be predominantly females across southeast Asia.

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The defendant exchanged diamonds and tokens for videos and images depicting the sexual exploitation of children.

Children were present in the background in some video conversations with these women.

Kerr paid the mothers to have their children remove their clothing and dance around naked in front of the camera for him to see.

Analysis of Kerr’s financial records revealed that between March and October 9, 2021, he spent $794.72 purchasing in-app currency.

Defence lawyer Steven Zindel, who said a lot of the offending occurred in a bleak period of Kerr’s life, also said Kerr’s requests had more often been for the children to perform such acts as juggling and singing and less often to see them naked.

His argument that Kerr’s co-operation with the police during a lengthy interview indicated his level of remorse was quashed by Judge Ruth.

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“I’m not sure that’s right and that it was more a clearing of your conscience.”

From a starting point of six years and three months in prison, Kerr was given 20 per cent credit for the guilty pleas he eventually made, having said at one point he intended to dispute the facts, 10 per cent credit for his personal circumstances outlined in a report and a further 10 per cent for his co-operation with authorities.

Tracy Neal is a Nelson-based Open Justice reporter at NZME. She was previously RNZ’s regional reporter in Nelson-Marlborough and has covered general news, including court and local government for the Nelson Mail.

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Source : https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/crime/nelson-man-jason-wayne-kerr-paid-women-in-asia-to-see-their-children-dance-naked/CBAHNZUUKJGOXHXM7UA3DLHGJY/

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Date : 2024-03-26 07:00:00

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