Detectives from Argos and the Morningside Child Protection Investigation Unit arrested a 43-year-old man for the sexual exploitation of two girls under 12, as part of ongoing efforts targeting those who offend against children.
The Brisbane man was arrested on Saturday April 4 following the execution of a search warrant at his premises where digital evidence was seized. The two children were located and have been rescued from any further harm.
The man was identified by the Argos Victim Identification team after distributing child exploitation material online of the abuse of two young girls.
The man has been charged with multiple counts of rape, indecent treatment of a child under 16 and making and distributing child exploitation material. He is remanded in custody and expected to appear at Brisbane Magistrates Court on July 13.
The investigation has revealed the offending occurred over a significant period of time with further charges anticipated.
The offending identified did not occur during the COVID-19 restriction period.
The Queensland Police Service remains committed to working with its partner agencies to target offenders involved in the sexual exploitation of children.
As greater numbers of children access online platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic, supervision of children is critical in preventing children being exploited online.
Detective Superintendent Denzil Clark from the Child Abuse and Sexual Crimes Group said that while Internet-connected devices provide many benefits to children at this time of social distancing, parents and caregivers should take active and ongoing measures around online safety.
“We cannot underestimate the valuable contribution the community plays in helping us stop, solve and prevent these types of child abuse crimes,” Detective Superintendent Clark said.
“We want parents and carers to be vigilant to the dangers facing their children online, as supervision is key to prevention as is ongoing communication with children about how to stay safe online.
“Now is the time for parents and carers to be considering where in the house their children are allowed to use internet-connected devices and to speak with children about risky behaviours including the dangers of having online ‘friends’ they have never met face-to-face.
“Parents and carers need to build an open, trusting relationship with their children so they know they can come to you if they need help or have any concerns.”
There are practical resources available through a national campaign by the eSafety Commissioner (eSafety) and Crime Stoppers to help parents and carers have these much-needed conversations with their children. These resources are available at: www.esafety.gov.au and www.crimestoppers.com.au.
Further resources are available through the Queensland Family and Child Commission (‘QFCC’) ‘Out of the Dark’ #doiknowu campaign, a joint initiative with the QPS and Department of Education. This state-wide campaign plays an important role in building awareness and promoting behaviours that prevent, recognise and respond to the prevalence of online grooming. More information is available at: www.qfcc.qld.gov.au/doiknowu.