South Australia man charged with multiple child exploitation offences

A 46-year-old Adelaide man has been charged with multiple child exploitation offences following an investigation by the South Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (SA-JACET), which comprises of members from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and South Australia Police.

In February 2019, the SA JACET received a referral from the Queensland Police Service identifying a user linked to an IP address in Adelaide allegedly posting child exploitation material on an image-hosting website.

The SA JACET commenced an investigation and executed a search warrant at a residential premise in the Adelaide suburb of Westbourne Park in May 2019. Police seized a USB allegedly containing child exploitation material and arrested a 46-year-old man.

Search warrants executed today in Adelaide resulted in the man, who was on bail, being arrested on new charges. A number of electronic devices believed to contain evidence of the offending were also seized.

The investigation evolved once an analysis of information provided by international law enforcement partners identified a series of alleged offences conducted by the man while in Cambodia between 2002 and 2005.

Police will allege in court the man sexually abused children in Cambodia between 2002 and 2005.

AFP Crime Operations Coordinator, Superintendent Gail McClure, highlighted how the SA JACET’s international relationships are having a significant impact at local, national and international levels.

“Today’s arrest is testament to the tireless work of SA JACET investigators to protect children from sexual exploitation, both in Australia and overseas,” Superintendent McClure said.

“It is heartbreaking to see children being the target of this abhorrent crime, but it only strengthens our resolve to ensure perpetrators are brought to justice.”

“We will continue to work with domestic and international partners to identify and prosecute the perpetrators of child sexual abuse, wherever in the world these heinous offences are carried out.”

“To people involved in similar offending, my warning to you is there is a highly-skilled and dedicated team of investigators focused on catching you.”

Detective Superintendent Mark Wieszyk, Officer in Charge Special Crimes Investigation Branch with South Australia Police urged people with information about child sexual abuse to contact the authorities.

“The consequences are devastating for children who are victims of abuse – we are all working with the same intention to rescue and protect defenceless children,” Detective Superintendent Wieszyk said.

“Anyone with information about child exploitation material – whether it be the creation, possession or sharing of content – is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.”

The man has been charged with:

  • Two counts of sexual intercourse with a child under 16 while outside Australia, contrary to Crimes Act 1914 (Cth). The maximum penalty for each offence is 17 years imprisonment.
  • Six counts of sexual conduct involving child under 16 while outside Australia, contrary to section 50BC of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth). The maximum penalty for each offence is 12 years imprisonment.

He is scheduled to appear in Adelaide Magistrates Court today (25 June 2019).