This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and Northern Territory Police.
A 37-year-old Darwin man and 29-year-old Darwin woman are scheduled to appear at the Darwin Magistrates Court today (17 May) after being charged with online child exploitation offences and possession of illicit drugs.
The arrests follow reports provided to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) by the US National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) between June 2018 and April 2019. The reports relate to two online accounts which had allegedly uploaded child exploitation material (CEM) over that period.
Further AFP investigations identified the alleged offending occurred in the Northern Territory and the matter was referred to the NT Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET), which comprises of the AFP and Northern Territory Police.
The NT JACET executed a search warrant yesterday (16 May 2019) at the residence of the couple in Gray, Darwin.
During the warrant it will be alleged a quantity of cannabis and was seized as well as electronic items containing CEM.
AFP Commander Justine Gough, Manager Child Protection said partner agencies were united in their resolve to catch those looking to exploit the most vulnerable members of our society.
“We are committed to ensuring the safety of children and young people, in Australia and overseas. Possessing or sharing child exploitation material supports this abhorrent crime. Those involved in watching, sharing or producing child exploitation material are committing crimes, serious penalties apply and offenders will be caught.”
The male and female were both charged with:
- Using a carriage service to transmit child pornography material contrary to the section 474.19 of the Criminal Code (Commonwealth);
- Possessing child pornography material for use through a carriage service contrary to section 474.20 of the Criminal Code (Commonwealth);
- Possessing child abuse material contrary to section 125B of the Criminal Code (Northern Territory); and
- Possessing a dangerous drug contrary to section 7B of the Drugs Misuse Act (Northern Territory).
The maximum penalty for the commonwealth charges is 15 years.
THIS IS CHILD EXPLOITATION, NOT ‘CHILD PORNOGRAPHY’
Use of the phrase ‘child pornography’ actually benefits child sex abusers because:
- it indicates legitimacy and compliance on the part of the victim and therefore legality on the part of the abuser; and
- it conjures up images of children posing in ‘provocative’ positions, rather than suffering horrific abuse.
Every photograph captures an actual situation where a child has been abused. This is not pornography.