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EXPOSED

Cameraman who kept kids TV show job despite paedo conviction admits filming himself sexually abusing children

A CAMERAMAN who kept his job at a kids TV show despite being a convicted paedophile has admitted filming himself sexually abusing children.

Nikola Michael Marinovich, 34, was arrested last year after social media platform Kik notified New Zealand authorities that he had uploaded child abuse files.

Nikola Michael Marinovich used to work as a cheerleading coach
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Nikola Michael Marinovich used to work as a cheerleading coachCredit: Facebook

Marinovich, who worked as a contractor on children's TV show What Now, pleaded guilty today in Auckland District Court to charges relating to serious child sexual exploitation material, reports the New Zealand Herald.

The paedophile admitted seven charges relating to possessing, making and distributing objectionable images. 

He was remanded in custody for sentencing in September, with the judge warning a sentence of imprisonment was "inevitable".

While awaiting trial on the Customs charges, Marinovich worked as a cheerleading coach - despite bail conditions prohibiting contact with minors.

CHILD EXPLOITATION

He was also executive director of Total Cheerleading.

When he was aged 25, he was charged with attempting sexual connection and having sexual connection with one of his cheerleaders, The New Zealand Herald reported.

Marinovich was also charged with sexual violation of another young cheerleader.

The paedophile was jailed in 2013 for repeatedly abusing several of his students after plying them with spirits and then assaulting them in his car and home.

One of the girls was molested as she lay exhausted on a gym mat after a one-to-one training session.

The abuse only ended when the 15-year-old's father arrived to pick her up.

Marinovich pleaded guilty today in Auckland District Court to charges relating to serious child sexual exploitation material
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Marinovich pleaded guilty today in Auckland District Court to charges relating to serious child sexual exploitation materialCredit: Google Maps

Court documents previously alleged how Marinovich kept "girls' underwear, school uniforms and whips in his bedroom".

The documents allege that a locked safe in a wardrobe contained a small quantity of meth, two tabs of LSD and a glass pipe to consume the drugs.

One of the devices found could not be accessed "due to the level of encryption" but police reportedly managed to bypass that in February, allegedly revealing more child exploitation files.

"Due to the large amount of electronic devices located at the property forensic analysis will continue and further charges or amendments are likely," the summary of facts stated.

Despite having served prison time for his sexual pursuit of young cheerleaders, Marinovich was later hired as a freelance cameraman to film two national cheerleading competitions after his release from prison.

CAMERAMAN JOBS

The New Zealand Cheer Union then launched an investigation into the case.

"As an organisation we're looking into how that happened," union chairwoman Selena Duncan told the Herald.

"It's making me feel quite nauseous."

During the years, he was given several freelance cameraman jobs through his company SkyVision Ltd.

A Herald investigation revealed he had access to at least 10 schools while working on the What Now TV show.

Whitebait Media co-owner Janine Morrell-Gunn apologised for the vetting failure and said they "ceased" the man's employment immediately after learning of his criminal background last year.

She accepted that no police vet had been carried out but the company was "only following police advice that freelance contractors were not required to undergo vetting".

"In hindsight, this was a failure on our part and one which we are deeply sorry for," she said.

"We now require police vetting of ALL staff, contractors and freelancers to ensure this never ever happens again."

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