The six-year-old Russian boy was adopted by two gay men who were arrested after it emerged they were members of a paedophile ring.
Police in Australia have described the case of a six-year-old boy who was sexually abused by his adoptive gay fathers and other people as “depraved”.
The men, who obtained the baby from a Russian surrogate in 2005, had presented themselves as loving fathers before their arrests in California last year.
Authorities in Australia and the US worked together to bring the men to justice after it emerged that the child had been offered to others for sexual exploitation from a very young age.
Last week one of the men, an American, was jailed in the US for 40 years while the other, who is from New Zealand, is still to be sentenced.
“None of these cases are very good,” Queensland Detective Inspector Jon Rouse, who heads the task force which investigates online child exploitation and abuse, told the AFP news agency.
“What’s pretty sad about this one is the way this child came into their lives. It’s just really a tragedy. It’s extremely depraved.”
It is not known whether the boy was conceived with one of the men’s sperm. But he had been living as the couple’s son when a chance discovery in New Zealand put police on their trail.
Authorities investigating a child sex offender in Wellington found images of the boy on the man’s computer.
The images were not illegal, but raised a red flag with Australian police who saw them as “modelling shots”. Further investigations unearthed chat logs between the couple and other child sex offenders.
When police raided the couple’s home while they were in the United States, they found enough material on laptops and other devices to ensure their arrest and the boy’s removal from their care.
DI Rouse said police were determined to ensure that all offenders were tracked down.
“We are talking about a fairly extensive network of child sex offenders,” he said.