A South Australian man was sentenced yesterday (29 March 2023) by the Adelaide District Court to nearly two years’ imprisonment for possessing and accessing child abuse material.
The man, 51, who was charged in 2021, pleaded guilty to three online child abuse related offences.
In May 2020, the South Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (SA JACET) received a referral from the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) about a South Australian resident accessing and storing child abuse material using a cloud storage account.
Investigators from the SA JACET, comprising members from the AFP and South Australia Police, linked the man to the account and executed a search warrant at his residential addresses at Elizabeth Downs and Elizabeth Vale on 12 August, 2020.
During the search warrant, AFP investigators located and seized several devices including a mobile phone and tablet, which contained a significant amount of child abuse material. The man was arrested and charged.
The Adelaide District Court yesterday (29 March 2023) sentenced the man to one year, 11 months’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of seven months.
AFP Sergeant Joe Barry said this investigation should serve as a warning that the AFP and its law enforcement partners were dedicated to fighting child sexual abuse and bringing offenders before the courts.
“Our message to online offenders has not changed – if you procure, access and transmit child abuse material, you will be found, arrested and prosecuted,” he said.
“This is not a victimless crime. Children are not commodities to be used for the abhorrent gratification of sexual predators.”
The man pleaded guilty to:
- One count of using a carriage service to transmit Child Abuse Material, contrary to Section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth),
- One count of using a carriage service to access Child Abuse Material, contrary to Section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth); and
- One count of possessing child abuse material, contrary to Section 474.22A(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).
The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the ACCCE is driving a collaborative national approach to combatting child abuse.
The ACCCE brings together specialist expertise and skills in a central hub, supporting investigations into online child sexual exploitation and developing prevention strategies focused on creating a safer online environment.
Members of the public who have information about people involved in child abuse are urged to contact the ACCCE at www.accce.gov.au/report. 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 impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation, support services are available at www.accce.gov.au/support.
Research conducted by the ACCCE in 2020 revealed only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety. Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protect children online can be found at www.thinkuknow.org.au, an AFP-led education program designed to prevent online child sexual exploitation.