Police charge man after online child exploitation investigation at Armidale

Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad detectives have charged a man following an investigation into alleged online child exploitation offences in the state’s north.

Earlier this year, investigators from the Australian Federal Police’s Child Protection Triage Unit (AFP CPTU) received reports from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding the online activities of an Australian man.

In July 2022, the investigation was referred to the Child Abuse and Sex Crime Squad’s Child Exploitation Internet Unit (CEIU), who commenced inquiries.

Following extensive investigations, strike force detectives arrested a 54-year-old man at a home at Armidale about 7am on Tuesday 13 September 2022.

A search warrant was subsequently executed at the home, where officers seized a laptop which allegedly contained more than 200 images of child abuse material, and cannabis.

All items were seized for further forensic examination.

The man was taken to Armidale Police Station and charged with possess child abuse material, use carriage service to access child abuse material, and possess prohibited drug.

He was refused bail and appeared at Glen Innes Local Court that day, where he was formally refused bail to reappear at Armidale Local Court today (Wednesday 21 September 2022).

Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Jayne Doherty, said police encourage parents to have open conversations with their children about their online activity.

“If a child is asked to send photos or perhaps already sent photos to someone on the internet, they should feel comfortable telling a trusted adult who can help them,” Det Supt Doherty said.

“Children are often coerced into providing further photos or paying money to someone online because they are scared their parents or carers will find out about their online activity and they will get in trouble.

NSW Police work closely with the eSafety Commissioner in the investigation and take down of this type of material to protect children from revictimization,” Det Supt Doherty said.

Regular covert online investigations are conducted by the CEIU; and police in NSW work closely with their law-enforcement colleagues interstate and overseas.

The Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad is comprised of detectives who are specially trained to investigate matters against children and adults, including sexual assault, serious physical abuse, and extreme cases of neglect.

Anyone with concerns about suspected child abuse or exploitation should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.

Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. People should not report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Anyone with information that may assist investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.