Stephen Joseph Rakich: Western Australia Education Department boss admits child exploitation offense

Education Department director, 67, admits possessing child abuse material after cops raided his home

  • A massive joint operation saw raids on 45 suspected paedophiles nationwide
  • WA education chief Stephen Joseph Rakich, 67, was among those charged
  • He pleaded guilty in court on Tuesday to possessing child abuse material
  • Rakich has been suspended and faces a further related charge from the raid

An education chief seized in a paedophile blitz has confessed to having a stash of vile child exploitation material.

Stephen Joseph Rakich, 67, admitted in court on Tuesday to possessing the child abuse material when police raided his home on September 1.

The Western Australian director of e-learning and business systems was snared in a huge operation by WA Police, Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force.

Stephen Joseph Rakich, 67, admitted in court on Tuesday to possessing the child abuse material when police raided his home on September 1 (pictured, AFP officers check laptops during the raid on 45 suspects earlier this month)

That week, police executed 61 search warrant raids in a seven day swoop on the homes and properties of 45 suspected child sex offenders.T

he massive joint exercise, said to be the biggest of its kind in Australia, led to 149 charges being laid – including a charge of possessing child exploitation material against Rakich, who faced Midland Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Rakich was stood down from his WA state government role after he was charged following the raid on his rural home in Millendon, on Perth’s north-eastern outskirts.

‘This staff member has been suspended,’ Education Department director-general Lisa Rodgers told The West Australian.

‘I have been made aware that a staff member, who is a public servant at the department and does not have contact with schoolchildren, has recently been charged.’

Police rescued three teenage sex abuse victims during 61 search warrant raids in a seven day swoop on the homes and properties of 45 suspected child sex offenders (pictured, laptops and hard drives containing alleged child abuse material are inspected by police)

Police rescued three teenage sex abuse victims during 61 search warrant raids in a seven day swoop on the homes and properties of 45 suspected child sex offenders (pictured, laptops and hard drives containing alleged child abuse material are inspected by police)

The massive joint exercise, said to be the biggest of its kind in Australia, led to 149 charges, including Rakich who faced Midland Magistrates Court on Tuesday (pictured, memory cards and hard drives collected in the 45 raids across Western Australia)

The massive joint exercise, said to be the biggest of its kind in Australia, led to 149 charges, including Rakich who faced Midland Magistrates Court on Tuesday (pictured, memory cards and hard drives collected in the 45 raids across Western Australia)

Rakich is believed to have been with the education department since 2008, according to his LinkedIn profile.

He will face the District Court in November on the child abuse material charges.

Rakich has yet to enter a plea on a further charge of possessing or copying an indecent or obscene article and will return to Midland Magistrates Court on the additional charge in February.

Advertisement

.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button