Melbourne man pleads guilty to sexually abusing Melbourne boy and children overseas

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A man was sentenced to 11 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually abusing a child in Melbourne, as well as multiple children procured through a paedophile network operating overseas.

Michael Corbett, 61, pleaded guilty to historical offences relating to grooming and abusing a child under 16 in Melton South and recent offences relating to raping three children in the Philippines, during a case heard in the County Court of Victoria on Tuesday.

Police arrested Corbett after investigations into an overseas paedophile network found the Australian citizen had paid a facilitator to procure children who were brought to his house in the Philippines for him to abuse on multiple occasions.

A man has been charged following a joint investigation between the AFP and Victoria Police.Credit: Paul Rovere

Corbett paid the three boys, who were all aged between 9 and 13, the equivalent of between $7 and $14 after abusing them in his home.

The man responsible for facilitating the abuse in the Philippines was arrested by the country’s national police force in February 2019, which lead to the rescue of six children.

The child victims identified Corbett as one of the perpetrators of sexual abuse during interviews conducted by Australian Federal Police in February 2020.

Police arrested Corbett after he arrived in Sydney from Singapore in November 2021, and he was extradited to Melbourne where he was subsequently charged.

Judge Anne Hassan detailed Corbett’s long history of sexual abuse, which had spanned several decades when sentencing him on Tuesday.

The court heard that Corbett had abused the Melton South boy for three years in the 1980s, including a period of which he was working for the Melton Shire Council.

After meeting the boy when he was nine years old and befriending his mother, Corbett followed the family from Melbourne to Geelong and then to Townsville in Queensland to continue the abuse.

A statement read to the court from the Melbourne victim described the “very profound harm” of the abuse.

The victim said since the abuse began he had lived in deep and resounding fear. He said Corbett turned his childhood into a place of neglect, fear and a constant state of powerlessness.

During the sentencing, Hassan said she was unable to find any evidence of remorse from Corbett or any explanation for his offending.

“Your offending was persistent, predatory and profoundly corrupting,” she said.

“You used the children as objects to be bought and sold and bought and sold for a pittance. This in my view about all other considerations is the most heinous aspect.

“You exploited the vulnerability of children living in poverty in a poor country.”

Corbett has been remanded since November 2021, and was on Tuesday sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of eight years.

A 63-year-old Cabramatta man also connected to the paedophile ring is serving a 19-year prison sentence, following his arrest when returning to Sydney from Vietnam in October 2018. The man was found guilty of multiple child sex offence charges by a NSW court in June 2021, including six counts of rape.

Mark Sharer, AFP leading senior constable, said the federal police was committed to protecting children both abroad and in Australia.

“Our investigators are committed to identifying these offenders wherever they may reside in the world,” he said.

“Trying to hide these abhorrent actions by travelling overseas will not stop us from locating offenders, seizing evidence and putting them before the courts.

“The AFP will continue to work tirelessly to identify and prosecute those preying on children.”

Members of the public who have information about people involved in child abuse are urged to contact the ACCCE at If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.

If you or someone you know is affected by child sexual abuse and online exploitation, support services are available at

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