A NSW Central Coast man appeared in Gosford Court yesterday (22 March, 2023) charged with possessing child abuse material.
AFP Eastern Command Child Protection investigators charged the man, 66, yesterday as part of an investigation that began when the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a report from the United States’ National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about an online user uploading child abuse material to a Microsoft BingImage platform.
AFP investigators allegedly linked the man to the illegal online activity.
A search warrant was executed at the man’s Terrigal home yesterday, with investigators finding child abuse photos and videos on multiple hard drives and a laptop. The devices will be subject to further forensic examination.
AFP Senior Constable Craig Eickenloff said possessing child abuse material is not a victimless crime.
“The AFP has strong lasting relationships with its international partners to continue identifying alleged offenders in Australia and bringing them to justice for their actions.”
The man was charged with two counts of possessing child abuse material, contrary to section 91H(2) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) The maximum penalty for the offence is 10 years’ imprisonment.
He is scheduled to next appear in Gosford Court on 14 April, 2023.
The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation is driving a collaborative national approach to combatting child abuse.
The ACCCE brings together specialist expertise and skills in a central hub, supporting investigations into online child sexual exploitation and developing prevention strategies focused on creating a safer online environment.
Members of the public who have information about people involved in child abuse are urged to contact the ACCCE at www.accce.gov.au/report. If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.
If you or someone you know is impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation, support services are available at www.accce.gov.au/support.
Research conducted by the ACCCE in 2020 revealed only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety. Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protect children online can be found at www.thinkuknow.org.au, an AFP-led education program designed to prevent online child sexual exploitation.