Channel 9 television reporter Ben McCormack has been charged with allegedly sending child pornography and engaging in sexually explicit conversations about children.
McCormack, a reporter for the A Current Affair Program (ACA) was arrested on Thursday morning by Strike Force Detectives during a vehicle stop at Moore Park.
Shortly after, detectives executed a search warrant at a unit in Alexandria, and at the ACA offices at Willoughby, where they seized computers, a mobile phone, and electronic storage devices.
Detectives had been investigating McCormack after being tipped off by the Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team, police said.
Police will allege McCormack engaged in explicit conversations about children with an adult male and discussed child pornography.
McCormack was charged with using a carriage service for child pornography material.
As an ACA reporter McCormack is known for tracking down former Hey Dad star Robert Hughes to Singapore in 2010, where he interviewed him over child sex allegations involving young girls.
“Robert Hughes, there are a lot of serious allegations made about you in Australia at the moment. Do you have anything to say?” McCormack asked Hughes through a car window.
“I’m absolutely and totally shocked at the allegations and I absolutely deny everything,” Hughes replied.
Hughes was subsequently convicted and jailed for the crimes.
Investigation ‘nothing to do with the ACA program’
McCormack has been suspended from his role as a reporter at Channel 9, the network has confirmed.
“Ben McCormack a 25-year veteran of the Nine Network was arrested today and charged by New South Wales Police,” a statement from the network said.
“Nine has taken a strong position and immediately suspended Ben McCormack.”
A spokesperson for Channel 9 stressed that the police investigation regarding McCormack had nothing to do with the ACA program or the network.
“I can confirm that officers from the New South Wales Police have been at TCN this morning investigating matters relating to a staff member at A Current Affair,” they said.
“It’s a personal matter that does not relate to the program or Nine.
“We are cooperating with the police. However, we are not in a position to comment any further as this is an ongoing investigation.”
McCormack was granted strict conditional bail to appear at Downing Centre Local Court on May 1.