A 33-year-old man was sentenced to three years and four months’ jail in the Nelson District Court today for exporting – more commonly known as uploading – and possessing child sexual exploitation images and videos.
He was also convicted for failing to meet obligations in relation to a computer search.
In February 2018, Customs investigators executed a search warrant at the man’s Nelson home after international authorities advised his address had been used to upload child sexual abuse publications onto an online storage platform.
Despite several requests, the man refused to provide passwords to his phone and computer, which Customs had seized for forensic examination. Subsequent investigations showed the man changed his online passwords after Customs investigators departed his home, and that he tried to access one of the accounts a few hours later using a different phone.
Customs forensics specialists located a total of 75 objectionable images and videos, on two separate online storage accounts that depicted the sexual exploitation of children. Fifty two of these publications were considered to be in the worst category of offending.
Customs Investigations Manager Bruce Berry urges people to stop referring to this type of material as ‘child pornography’.
“There’s an incorrect and unacceptable perception created when the term ‘child pornography’ is used, as it implies legitimacy and consent. These are serious sexual crimes against children, with the offending being captured on camera for others to see.”
“Offenders like this man fuel demand for the production of such abhorrent publications, and children are re-victimised every time the images or videos are viewed. Perpetrators may think they are beyond the law at home, but there is a global network out to stop them,” he says.
Each time an image or video is uploaded to, or downloaded from, an overseas-based server, it is regarded as an electronic export or import across the cyber border. Customs works closely with Police and Internal Affairs to identify and apprehend offenders in New Zealand, and also works with international partner agencies – as it did in this case.
The maximum penalty for the importation, exportation, or possession of objectionable publications is ten years’ imprisonment.