19 January 2023

Lack of psychological report delays sentencing of man whose crime was discovered by international tip-off

| Claire Fenwicke
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Jarn Seglenieks was due to be sentenced at Queanbeyan Courthouse on Monday 16 January. Photo: Claire Fenwicke.

The sentencing of a Queanbeyan man – whose possession of child abuse material was discovered by a US-based organisation – has been delayed while the court waits for a forensic psychological report.

Now 21, Jarn Seglenieks last year pleaded guilty to possessing photographs of underage girls.

Documents previously tendered in court said the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) alerted the AFP about an Australian-based user posting material on Google in December 2021.

It detailed NCMEC had detected a total of 39 uploaded files which it considered as category one child abuse material, which the Interpol baseline defines as “depicting real prepubescent child (under the age of 13)” where the child is either involved in or witnessing a sexual act, or the image is focused on their “anal or genital region”.

The case was referred to the NSW Police Force Child Exploitation Internet Unit in April 2022, and ended up with Monaro Police District investigators.

From there, investigators discovered the relevant Google account was accessed via a Queanbeyan-based IP address.

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Police tried to execute a search warrant on the home on 29 June 2022, however Seglenieks was at work in Canberra.

Investigators let his mother know he needed to contact them, and about an hour and a half later Seglenieks presented himself to Queanbeyan Police Station, where officers seized his phone.

During questioning, the police report noted Seglenieks told them “Last year I accessed illegal stuff, I knew it was bad … I’m addicted to porn”.

When pressed further about what kind of illegal material he had accessed, he responded: “Photos of young girls”.

Seglenieks joined officers when they then searched his home, where they seized several electronic devices – including computer and external hard drives – and downloaded his Google Drive data.

According to the court documents, Seglenieks admitted he had “accessed and uploaded images” to his Google Drive for “reasons he still doesn’t understand”.

A forensic review of his devices completed in August 2022, found six images on one of his phones which were classed as category one and two child abuse material.

Seglenieks was then offered a formal recorded interview which he declined.

However, he apologised to officers for his offending:

“I’m sorry that you had to see those photos on my phone,” the police record stated Seglenieks said.

“I know it isn’t good and no one should have to see them.”

Segleneiks is now due to be sentenced in Queanbeyan Local Court on 20 February.

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His wasn’t the only case held up due to a late forensic psychological report in the courthouse on Monday (16 January).

Peter John McMinn was also due to be sentenced after he pleaded guilty to one offence of “torture, beat (etc) and cause death of an animal” following the death of numerous kangaroos in Royalla in April 2020.

However, his lawyer told the court McMinn’s psychologist had recommended she have a second appointment with the Googong man, as what they had discussed “raised further issues” which she felt “required a second assessment”.

A second appointment had been booked, but McMinn’s lawyer said due to a “scheduling issue” McMinn had been unable to attend.

Magistrate Roger Clisdell expressed his frustration at the delay, as the sentencing had already been held up.

“We’re now talking about nearly two months [since McMinn could have originally been sentenced],” he said.

“It seems to me he knows what’s likely to happen and just doesn’t want to turn up.”

McMinn is now due to be sentenced in Queanbeyan Local Court on 6 February.

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