Central Coast man charged for procuring child to engage in sexual activity

A 23-year-old Central Coast man is expected to face Gosford Local Court today, charged by Australian Federal Police Child Protection investigators with procuring a child for sexual activity.

The Umina Beach man was arrested yesterday (25 November 2021) after the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

The report identified an Omegle user who was using the platform to advertise their search for underage children for sexual activity.

Police allegedly linked the IP addresses and mobile phone number associated with the advertisement to the 23-year-old man.

Eastern Command Child Protection investigators received additional information from their counterparts in NSW Police Force about the same man allegedly engaging with teenagers to procure them for sexual activity.

Police seized a mobile phone, laptop and several SIM cards during the search at the man’s home. The digital devices will be subject to further forensic examination.

The man was charged with using a carriage service to procure persons under 16 for sexual activity, contrary to Section 474.25C(1)(a)(ii) of the Criminal Code (Cth).

The maximum penalty for this offence is 10 years’ imprisonment.

AFP Acting Sergeant Adam Barcham said the AFP works closely with state and territory policing partners to ensure those who seek to cause considerable damage to the most innocent in our society are charged and prosecuted for their crimes.

“Our partnerships mean we can share information at any point in time, during search warrants and even after an individual has been charged, and stop child predators before they can cause further harm to our children,” Acting Sergeant Barcham said.

The 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 Centre 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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