Detectives from the Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (JACET) arrested and charged a 53-year-old man in Virginia yesterday for a number of child sex offences.
Police allege that the man rented a spare room at a friend’s property in early 2019, and began grooming his friend’s 11-year-old daughter.
In July 2019, the victim and her family relocated to South Australia, and it is alleged that the man then established an online communication with her via social media.
On 12 May 2021, Northern Territory and Australian Federal Police executed search warrant on the man’s premises. They located the man in possession of a mobile device that contained significant amounts of communication with the victim that spanned over 12 months, which included him transferring child abuse material to her.
The man has been charged with the following Commonwealth and Northern Territory offences:
- Use carriage service to groom person u/16 (Cth)
- Indecent dealings with a child u/16 (NT)
- Use carriage service for child pornography (Cth)
- Possess child abuse material (Cth)
- Possess schedule 2 drug, less than trafficable (NT)
He was remanded in custody to appear in Darwin Local Court today.
Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Lawson said, “These sorts of behaviours are completely reprehensible. This investigation shows the importance of multi-agency operations working together to identify and apprehend those in our community who pose a serious risk to the safety of the most vulnerable in our community. The Northern Territory JACET will continue to work tirelessly with national and international partners to keep the most vulnerable in our community safe.”
AFP Detective Superintendent Child Protection Operations Paula Hudson said the AFP will always exercise all available options to prevent the sexual abuse of children anywhere at any time.
“I commend the work of the NT JACET as they continue to take all necessary action to protect children from sexual exploitation,” Detective Superintendent Hudson said.
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.
You can also make a report online by alerting the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation via the ‘Report Abuse’ button at www.accce.gov.au/report.