SA man caught with child abuse material

This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and South Australia Police

The South Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (SA JACET) has charged a 47-year-old man over the alleged discovery of dozens of child abuse-related images on his mobile phone.

A SA JACET investigation was launched in January after the United States’ National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) provided a report about the man’s alleged online activities.

Police executed a search warrant at the man’s home in South Australia’s Riverland region on 11 February (2020) and seized an electronic device.

The man was charged after a preliminary examination of his phone allegedly showed abhorrent material. A detailed forensic examination is ongoing.

He will face Berri Magistrate’s Court for the first time today (21 April 2020) for:

  • Possessing or controlling child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for this offence is 15 years imprisonment.

The SA JACET is a partnership between the Australian Federal Police and South Australia Police.

AFP Superintendent Investigations Gail McClure said JACET investigators work tirelessly to protect children in Australia and overseas from sexual abuse and identify anyone who exploits them.

“This case highlights the importance of the AFP’s strong partnerships, both locally and overseas, to prevent the spread of child abuse material,” Superintendent McClure said.

“This arrest should serve as a warning that you are not anonymous online and we are working hard to bring you to justice.

“Our commitment to these investigations going forward is to protect the most vulnerable in our society. Despite the challenging circumstances we face due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AFP and our partners continue to focus on keeping children safe from insidious online exploitation.”

Detective Superintendent Mark Wieszyk, officer-in-charge of the Public Protection Branch of the South Australia Police, said that the SA JACET is a dedicated team of investigators that work closely together to combat child exploitation.

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.

The AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) works alongside key stakeholders and partners to drive a collective global effort to counter the epidemic of child exploitation. It provides an integrated and collaborative capability to ensure cohesion by using the expertise of federal, state and territory, non-government agencies and private industry, and by allowing a cross-pollination of resources, knowledge and skillsets between stakeholders.

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