A 21-year-old Moreton Bay region man is expected to face court today (Wednesday, 28 July 2021) charged with child abuse-related offences following a Brisbane-based Australian Federal Police operation.
The investigation began in early 2021 after the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a report from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the USA regarding child abuse material allegedly being accessed and transmitted via Twitter and being stored on devices and online accounts.
AFP child protection investigators allegedly identified a Queensland man in connection with this material. In April 2021, the AFP executed a search warrant at the man’s Morayfield home and seized one smartphone and a laptop.
The man was issued a Notice to Appear to face Caboolture Magistrates’ Court on 28 July 2021 for three offences:
- One count of possessing child abuse material accessed or obtained using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995(Cth);
- One count of using a carriage service to access child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(i) of the Criminal Code Act 1995(Cth); and
- One count of using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(iii) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
The maximum penalty for these offences is 15 years’ imprisonment.
Detective Superintendent Paula Hudson said the charges reflect the AFP’s pledge to protecting children and identifying and prosecuting those seeking to harm and exploit them.
“Individuals who possess, access and transmit child abuse material are part of the problem. They create the market for child abuse material online which causes further harm to children,” Detective Superintendent Hudson said.
“Our officers, wherever they are located in Australia, work tirelessly to hunt down offenders to ensure those seeking to access children for sexual offences online are prosecuted.”
The ACCCE is committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and 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.