A Queensland man has been charged with three counts of child abuse-related offences by the Brisbane Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET).
The Bellbird Park man, 65, is expected to appear in Brisbane Magistrates today (18 August 2022).
The investigation began in June 2022 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 using the Kik messenger platform.
AFP investigators from the Brisbane JACET allegedly linked the man to the illegal online activity.
A search warrant was executed at the man’s home on 3 August 2022 with investigators seizing a laptop and several USBs. The digital devices will now be subject to further forensic examination.
AFP Constable Tom Clayworth said the arrest was another reminder of the prevalence of online child abuse.
“Unfortunately, online child abuse material is not rare, and is a focus for the AFP and other law enforcement agencies who continue to work tirelessly to identify and prosecute those preying on children,” he said.
The man was arrested and charged with:
- Two counts of possessing child abuse material accessed or obtained using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
- One count of possessing child exploitation material, contrary to contrary to section 228D of the Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).
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 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 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.