This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and South Australia Police
A 25-year-old man is expected to face a regional South Australian court for the first time today (2 June) over the alleged possession of abhorrent material, including images of a child being sexually abused.
The South Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (SA JACET) arrested and charged the man on 12 February 2020 after forensically examining his electronic devices.
The devices had been seized in January as part of a SA JACET investigation into a female associate known to the man.
That woman is also expected to face court again today (2 June 2020) after she was charged in January with possessing child abuse material.
SA JACET launched an investigation last year after a tip-off from the United States’ National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about a person allegedly uploading a video on social media of a child being sexually abused.
Police charged the 25-year-old man with possessing child exploitation material contrary to section 63A of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA).
He is expected to face Mount Gambier Magistrate’s Court today (2 June 2020) and if convicted, he faces a potential five years’ imprisonment.
AFP Superintendent Investigations Gail McClure said the demand for abhorrent content drives the physical exploitation and abuse of children.
“Sexual abuse in any form is disgusting and is not acceptable human behaviour,” Superintendent McClure said.
“Anyone who accesses images, videos or other material depicting these horrific crimes is just as complicit as those who produce it.
“Any such offending, be it online or elsewhere, causes real-life and irreparable damage to children – and this arrest is another reminder to would-be offenders that crimes committed online and thought to be anonymous, are not, and these offences carry severe penalties in the real world.
“The community can rest assured the COVID-19 lockdowns have not shifted our focus from coming down hard on those producing, sharing and participating in the sexual abuse of children.”
The SA JACET is a partnership between the Australian Federal Police and South Australia Police’s Public Protection Branch.
Members of the public who have any information about people involved in child 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.
USE OF TERM ‘CHILD ABUSE’ MATERIAL, NOT ‘CHILD PORNOGRAPHY’
Use of the phrase “child pornography” benefits child sex abusers because it:
- indicates legitimacy and compliance on the part of the victim and therefore legality on the part of the abuser; and
- conjures images of children posing in ‘provocative’ positions, rather than suffering horrific abuse.
Every photograph captures an actual situation where a child has been abused. This is not “pornography”.