Unmasked: Childcare Worker Facing 1623 Child Abuse Charges Identified
By Warren Barnsley
Queensland childcare worker facing 1600 abuse charges identified as Ashley Paul Griffith
The 45-year-old has been in custody since his arrest on the Gold Coast last year.
An Australian childcare worker charged with 1623 child abuse offences — including allegations of raping scores of prepubescent girls — can be identified.
Ashley Paul Griffith, 45, has been in custody since his arrest on the Gold Coast in August last year.
He previously could not be named at the current stage of his court proceedings, but changes to Queensland law that came into effect on Tuesday allow him to be identified.
Griffith allegedly abused 91 children, with all but four in Australia.
He allegedly targeted girls at 10 childcare centres in Brisbane in 2007-2013 and 2018-2022.
There were also victims at a centre in Sydney between 2014 and 2017, and he also allegedly offended against four children overseas in 2014-2017.
According to a deleted website entry of a Brisbane childcare centre where he worked previously, Griffith said he is a “firm believer in play-based learning”.
“I love engaging children in meaningful experiences that inspire their play and learning,” he wrote on the website.
“I am particularly fascinated by how children use creative languages such as drawing, building, painting and music to express themselves and develop their identity.
“Young children are natural inquirers, exploring the world through their senses, seeking answers and building theories. As an early childhood teacher I hope to share this journey, learning side by side (with) children and inspiring them.”
The charges include 136 counts of rape in Queensland and 110 counts of sexual intercourse with a child under 10 in New South Wales.
He allegedly used his offending against the girls to create more than 4000 child abuse images and videos.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Justine Gough described the allegations as “deeply distressing” and “unfathomable”.
“All the children allegedly offended against were prepubescent girls,” she said on August 1.
“We allege the 45-year-old man from the Gold Coast recorded all this alleged offending on his phone and cameras.”
He is next due to appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court on November 6.
Griffith could previously not be named due to his matter being in the pre-committal stage, with Queensland law prohibiting the identification of a person charged with rape until they are committed to stand trial.
The laws were changed after the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce’s second report into women and girls’ experiences across the criminal justice system, published in July, recommended Queensland’s Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 1978 be amended to remove pre-committal restrictions on identifying defendants.