Sydney Man Charged With Soliciting Child Abuse Material

A North Shore man appeared in Hornsby Local Court today (11 July, 2024) for allegedly soliciting online child abuse material.

AFP Eastern Command Child Protection Operations began an investigation into the man following a report regarding a NSW-based individual soliciting child abuse material on an online messenger platform.

Police identified the man, 31, allegedly involved in the illegal activity.

AFP officers executed a search warrant at the man's Hornsby home on Wednesday (10 July, 2024), with investigators seizing a mobile phone which allegedly contained sexualised online conversations about children and soliciting child abuse material.

The man was subsequently charged with one count of using a carriage service to solicit child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code (Cth). He was granted strict conditional bail and is scheduled to appear before Downing Centre Local Court on 4 September, 2024.

The maximum penalty for the offence is 15 years' imprisonment.

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Emmanuel Tsardoulias said procuring child abuse material was not a victimless crime and was punishable by law.

"Our message to online offenders has not changed - if you procure, access and transmit child abuse material, you will be found, arrested and prosecuted," he said.

"These children are real people and not commodities to be used for the grotesque gratification of predators."

The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the ACCCE 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 are urged to contact the ACCCE. If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.

If you or someone you know is impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation, support services are available.

Research conducted by the ACCCE in 2020 revealed only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety. Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protect children online can be found at the ThinkUKnow website, an AFP-led education program designed to prevent online child sexual exploitation.

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