A New South Wales man, 26, has been charged with seven counts of child abuse-related offences by the AFP’s Child Protection Operations team.
The man, from the Hunter Region, is expected to appear in Raymond Terrace Local Court today (12 August, 2022) following his arrest yesterday.
The AFP investigation began after 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 a user uploading child abuse material to several online platforms.
AFP investigators allegedly linked the man to the accounts uploading the material.
A search warrant was executed at his home on 11 August, with investigators seizing a mobile phone and laptop that allegedly contained child abuse material. The digital devices will be subject to further forensic examination.
“There is no less-culpable option when it comes to this type of offending. Child abuse material is a record of the horrific abuse of children and if you seek it out you are supporting an industry that preys on children,” D/Sgt Pandher said.
The man was charged with:
- Two counts of using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(iii) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
- Two counts of using carriage service to solicit child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(iv) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
- Two counts of possessing or controlling child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
- Using a carriage service to access child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
The maximum penalty for these offences is 15 years’ imprisonment.
The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the ACCCE 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 and exploitation are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or www.accce.gov.au/report. If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.
Research conducted by the ACCCE in 2020 revealed only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety.
An award-winning podcast launched last year by the ACCCE ‘Closing The Net’ is working to change that, showcasing that knowledge is power and that our only chance to help prevent this issue is if we bring a ‘whole-of-community’ response.
The podcast series offers valuable tips and advice on how to keep kids safe online. Listen to the Closing The Net podcast on your favourite streaming platform.
If you or someone you know are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available at www.accce.gov.au/support.
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.