KEY POINTS

  • Jareth Thomas Harries-Markham was arrested last month for abusing three victims
  • He continued to advertise his services even days before his arrest
  • The investigators identified nine more victims

A babysitter in Australia who has been accused of raping and sexually abusing young victims, including an 8-month-old child under his care, is now facing over 200 counts of child sex charges.

Jareth Thomas Harries-Markham, 23, from Perth, a city in West Australia, was initially arrested last month on more than a dozen offenses, including charges of rape, in connection with the abuse of three victims. He is now accused of sexually abusing a total of 12 victims aged between 8 months and 9 years.

"As part of the ongoing investigation by Child Abuse Squad, detectives identified a further nine victims. It is alleged the additional offenses occurred between July 2020 and August 2021 whilst the man was babysitting the victims," West Australian Police said in a  news release.

Investigators found that Harries-Markham advertised his services through online babysitting groups, claiming he had up to 10 years of experience, a police certificate and a Working with Children Check, which is a clearance check for people who care for children in Australia. Even days before he got arrested, he continued to advertise his services, police said as per WA Today.

"I am a pretty easy-going guy who is open to care for any age any hours," he reportedly wrote on a babysitting website. He even described himself as someone who loves to help "bring up kids to be the best they can be" and who is "open to handling things anyway the family wants," according to 7 News.

The new charges filed against him include possession of child exploitation material, sexual penetration of a child, encouraging a child to do an indecent act and indecently recording a child. Harries-Markham is also faced with five counts of child exploitation that are deemed "non-contact," bringing his total charges related to child sex offenses to 199.

During a police search at his residence, Harries-Markham was found to possess exploitation material as well as several gel blasters and "edged weapons" that are prohibited. The charges in connection with the possession of these illegal objects bring his total charges to 204.

Harries-Markham appeared in court via video link Monday. He spoke only to confirm his name. The court has scheduled his next appearance for Oct. 18.

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