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‘Not guilty’ to child sex abuse charges

A Wairarapa resident arrested after an international tipoff has denied possessing and importing child sexual abuse material.

Jonathan Ignoacio, a Filipino national, appeared in Wellington District Court yesterday.

The 42-year-old pleaded not guilty to two charges of possessing and importing objectionable publications that depict the sexual abuse of children and chose to have a jury trial.

Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 year’s jail time.

Customs arrested Ignoacio at Wellington Airport on January 21, after allegedly finding child sexual abuse images on two of his phones.

A search warrant was carried out at his Wairarapa home, where additional electronic devices were seized for further examination. He appeared in Wellington District Court on January 23 and was granted bail.

Customs was first alerted to the alleged offending by an overseas-based social media platform and the United States-based National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Ignoacio is scheduled to reappear in court in May for a case review hearing.

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