South Coast man charged with importation of child-like sex doll

A New South Wales man has been arrested and charged following an investigation into the importation of a child-like sex doll.

In December 2019, Australian Border Force (ABF) officers intercepted a package which was described as containing a clothing display model. The package, addressed to a home in Albion Park, was examined and found to contain the lower half of a child-like sex doll.

A 21 year-old man from Albion Park was stopped by ABF officers at Sydney airport on 22 February after arriving back in Australia from an overseas holiday. An interview was conducted and his phone was seized. He was not arrested and was allowed to depart.

A later forensic examination of the man’s phone revealed a folder containing child abuse material.

This morning, ABF investigators and NSW Police officers from the Lake Illawarra Police District executed a search warrant at a home in Albion Park. The 21 year-old man was arrested and computers and a USB device were seized from his home.

The man was taken to Lake Illawarra Police Station and was charged with 3 offences. He’s been charged with two counts of importing prohibited Tier 2 goods without approval, namely child sex doll parts and child abuse material. He has also been charged with possessing or controlling child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service.

Acting Superintendent of Investigations NSW John Fleming said child-like sex dolls and digital images are symptomatic of the broader global threat posed by child sexual abuse.

“Recent research by the Australian Institute of Criminology suggests that the use of these dolls may lead to an escalation in child sex offences—from viewing online child abuse material to contact sexual offending,” Acting Superintendent Fleming said.

“This arrest shows our officers are committed and trained to detect, investigate and prosecute those who seek to import this abhorrent material into our community.”

The Customs Act 1901 was amended to clarify that child-like sex dolls are a form of child abuse material, providing more certainty to officers at the border.

Under section 233BAB(5) of the Customs Act 1901(Cth), an individual caught attempting to import child abuse material, including a child-like sex doll, can be charged with importing Tier 2 goods. The maximum penalty, if convicted, is up to 10 years’ imprisonment and/or fines of up to $525,000.

Using a carriage service to access child pornography material, contrary to section 474.19 (1)(a)(i) of the Criminal Code (Cth) is an offence that carries a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment.

The man has been granted bail and will appear at Port Kembla Local Court on 22 April 2020.

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