A man has been charged following an investigation into an imported child-like sex doll.
In November 2019, Australian Border Force (ABF) officers intercepted the doll from air cargo in Sydney.
The doll is legally considered to be child exploitation material.
The matter was referred to Detectives from Riverina Police District, who commenced inquiries into the importation.
As part of their inquiries, police and ABF investigators executed a search warrant at a home in Wagga Wagga last month (18 December 2019).
Officers seized a computer and other electronic devices for forensic analysis.
Following further investigations, detectives arrested a 59-year-old man at Wagga Wagga Police Station about 3.30pm yesterday (Thursday 23 January 2020).
Police will allege in court that child abuse material was stored on the man’s computer.
The man has since been charged with intentionally import prohibited tier 2 good without approval (Customs Act 1901) and possess child abuse material (Crimes Act 1900).
The man was granted strict conditional bail and is due to face Wagga Wagga Local Court on Tuesday 4 February 2020.
Riverina Police District Crime Manager, Detective Acting Inspector Phil Malligan said the arrest was a result of great work between the two agencies.
“We do not condone any form of child exploitation and we will do everything in our power to put those who choose to sexualise children before the courts,” Det A/Insp Malligan said.
“We will continue to work closely with other agencies to ensure the protection of our children.”
Acting ABF Regional Commander for NSW, Garry Low said ABF officers are stopping an increasing number of child-like sex dolls being imported through the international mail and air cargo streams.
“All child-like sex dolls and child abuse material detected at the border is automatically seized by the ABF, because this sickening material has no place in Australia,” Acting ABF Regional Commander Low said.
“Child-like sex dolls and digital material are symptomatic of the broader global threat posed by child sexual abuse. That’s why the ABF is committed to working with its partner agencies to pursue those associated with these abhorrent activities.”
On 21 September 2019, the Combatting Child Sexual Exploitation Legislation Amendment Act 2019 came into force.
These reforms amended the Criminal Code Act 1995 to:
Introduce a new offence for possessing a child‑like sex doll, which is punishable by up to 15 years’ imprisonment.
Amend the definition of ‘child abuse material’ to put beyond doubt that it is an offence to, for example, use the internet to advertise or solicit, or use a postal service to send, a child-like sex doll.