Bendigo man jailed for possessing child abuse material

A Bendigo man has been sentenced by the Melbourne County Court today (29 November 2022) to 20 months imprisonment for uploading child abuse material depicting young children to social media.

The Victorian Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (JACET) investigation began in March 2021 after the AFP received three reports from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about an Australian uploading multiple videos containing child abuse material to social media.

The sexually explicit videos of boys and girls were transmitted to other users.

Investigators from the Victorian JACET – comprising members from the AFP and Victoria Police – linked the Bendigo man, 62, to the offending through IP address checks and verifying the mobile number connected to the account.

A search warrant was executed at the man’s home in June 2021, with investigators seizing a laptop and mobile phone for forensic examination.

Police ultimately identified 848 video files and 512 image files containing child abuse material.

The man was arrested and charged with:

  • Three counts of possessing child abuse material obtained through a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • Transmitting indecent communication, contrary to section 474.27A(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

AFP Acting Sergeant Alan Giles said this investigation shows how closely Commonwealth, state and international law enforcement agencies work together to combat the exploitation and abuse of children.

“Our common goal is to protect children, wherever they live, and ensure anyone who tries to harm them is identified and brought before the courts,” acting Sgt Giles said.

The 62-year-old will be eligible for parole after eight months.

The AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) is committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and is at the centre of a collaborative national approach to combatting organised child abuse.

The ACCCE brings together specialist expertise and skills in a central hub, supporting investigations into child sexual abuse and developing prevention strategies focused on creating a safer online environment.

Members of the public who have any information about people involved in child abuse and exploitation are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online.

If you or someone you know are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available.

Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protection children online can be found at ThinkUKnow, an AFP-led education program designed to prevent online child sexual exploitation.

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