Sydney man to face court on child abuse charges

A 40-year-old Sydney man is due to appear before the Central Local Court on child abuse charges following an investigation by the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

The investigation commenced after the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation received a report from the United States’ National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) on 11 March 2020. The report – one of several allegedly linked to the man – related to the upload of child abuse material to an email account.

Investigators from the AFP’s NSW Child Protection Operations team executed a search warrant today (7 July 2020) at the man’s residence in Hillsdale, Sydney.

During the search warrant, a number of electronic items were seized for evidentiary purposes and will be subject to forensic examination.

The man was arrested and charged with:

  • 1 x using a carriage service for child abuse material (transmit to self), contrary to Section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • 2 x possessing or controlling child abuse material obtained or accessed through a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
  • 1 x using a carriage service to transmit indecent communication to person under 16 years of age, contrary to section 474.27A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

He faces a maximum penalty of 15 years’ imprisonment.

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Simone O’Mahony said, while Australian perpetrators may think using and sharing online child abuse material is ‘a simple click of the button’, the impact on victims is immeasurable.

“One image can tell a story of physical harm and lifelong trauma. One image can tell a story of rape and torture,” Detective Acting Superintendent O’Mahony said.

“The fact our investigations frequently uncover hundreds and thousands of these photos is truly horrifying. We need Australians to realise that by using and sharing child abuse material online, you are complicit in this abuse.

“Today’s outcome is another example of our tireless work with domestic and international partners in making sure alleged perpetrators face the full force of the law.”

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.

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