New South Wales man charged with sexually abusing children overseas and possessing child abuse material

A 35-year-old New South Wales man appeared in court today (Tuesday, 6 July 2021) after the Australian Federal Police charged him with 15 child abuse-related offences allegedly committed in two countries.

The investigation began in April this year after the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding a person uploading illegal material, including some suspected of being self-produced in the Philippines, to a cloud storage device.

Investigators from the AFP’s Eastern Command Child Protection Operations (CPO) team allegedly linked a Chippendale man, who is a New Zealand citizen, to the email addresses associated with the account.

A search warrant was executed at the man’s home today (6 July 2021), with investigators seizing three mobile phones and an external hard drive. The digital devices will now be subject to further forensic examination.

The man was arrested and charged with 15 offences:

  • Three counts of sexual intercourse with a child outside of Australia, contrary to section 272.8(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • Sexual activity (other than sexual intercourse) with a child outside of Australia, contrary to section 272.9(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • Six counts of producing child abuse material outside of Australia, contrary to section 273.6(1)(ii) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • Four counts of possessing child abuse material accessed or obtained using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth); and
  • Using a carriage service to access child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(i) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for the offence of sexual intercourse with a child outside of Australia is 20 years’ imprisonment. The other offences each carry a maximum penalty of 15 years’ imprisonment.

He appeared before Sydney Central Local Court today (6 July 2021). He has been remanded in custody with his next court appearance scheduled for Wednesday, 1 September 2021.

AFP Child Protection Operations Detective Sergeant Joel Wheeler said the Sydney lockdowns had not slowed down the work of investigators who would continue to arrest people allegedly abusing children no matter the circumstances.

“This arrest should serve as a warning that law enforcement is dedicated to fighting child sexual abuse and bringing those who commit these offences before the court even through lockdowns,” Detective Sergeant Wheeler said.

The ACCCE 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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