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Saturday, September 26th, 2020

'Disbelief' at Sydney journo's double life

by September 27, 2017 General

Former Hey Dad! child star and abuse survivor Sarah Monahan has shared her “heartbreak” and “total disbelief” after A Current Affair reporter Ben McCormack pleaded guilty to child porn offences.

The child protection advocate expressed her anger and sadness in a post to Instagram a day after it was revealed the former Nine Network journalist she had trusted to tell her own story had fantasised about young boys and their “perfect bodies” in graphic chats, telling another man “Im a total b loving pedo”.

“I had hoped there was a better explanation. Maybe he was doing research for a story,” she wrote on Wednesday.

“Then reading the news this morning, I understood what friends of Robert’s (Hughes) must have felt. That total disbelief that someone could have such a double life.”

McCormack had previously worked to track down convicted sex offender and former Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes in Singapore in 2010, confronting him over allegations he behaved inappropriately towards Ms Monahan on the set of the Aussie hit sitcom.

Sarah Monahan with Robert Hughes in a promotional image for Hey Dad!
Sarah Monahan with Robert Hughes in a promotional image for Hey Dad!

Hughes was later sentenced in 2014 to a maximum of 10 years and nine months, with a non-parole period of six years, for the sexually and indecently assaulting young girls.

McCormack pleaded guilty on Tuesday to two counts of using a carriage service to transmit, publish or promote child porn after a new, agreed statement of facts was tendered in Downing Centre Local Court.

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The charges each carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

In her emotional post Ms Monahan said she was disappointed in both McCormack for his actions and in herself, for letting him into her world.

She feels “numb” at the moment, and said it was McCormack who relayed Hughes’s guilty verdict to her live from court.

McCormack, who was also involved in surf life-saving, was arrested in April and suspended by the Nine Network after police raided ACA’s Sydney office and his home.

Nine Network confirmed to AAP on Tuesday McCormack had resigned and no longer worked for the network.

The 43-year-old reporter went by the name Oz4skinboi in conversations with an unnamed man that began in 2015 and amounted to child pornography, according to a new, agreed statement of facts tendered in court on Tuesday.

“My only hope is that it truly was all ‘fantasy’ and that no children were harmed,” Ms Monahan wrote on Wednesday.

McCormack’s lawyer Sam Macedone hopes his client will get a sentencing date when he next appears in court on Friday, October 6.

Sarah Monahan said she was
Sarah Monahan said she was “numb” after finding out about Ben McCormack. (Photo: Instagram)

© AAP 2017