Tasmanian sentenced for accessing significant amounts of child exploitation and bestiality material

A 31-year-old Tasmanian man was yesterday (Monday 16 May) sentenced to four years’ imprisonment for child exploitation and bestiality offences.

He is one of more than 100 Australians who have been charged as part of Operation Molto, which was a global investigation into child abuse related offences that resulted in 153 children being removed from harm, including 51 in Australia.

The Tasmanian Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (JACET), comprising Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Tasmania Police members, charged the man with accessing and possessing significant amounts of child abuse material in December 2020.

The Tasmanian JACET executed search warrants at the man’s Tasman Peninsula home following reports to the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) via the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the United States.

Investigators seized two mobile phones and a laptop computer from the property. Folders on one of the devices were named ‘peda-files’, which contained significant amounts of child exploitation material.

The court also learned the man uploaded and shared child abuse and bestiality material to social media groups online.

The man was charged with the following offences:

  • Using a carriage service to access child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(iii) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • Using a carriage service to solicit child pornography material, contrary to section 474.19(1) Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
  • Possessing child abuse material accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
  • Use carriage service to transmit child pornography material, contrary to section 474.22(1) Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).
  • Possessing bestiality product, contrary to section 74 of the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Enforcement Act 1995 (Tas).

He was today sentenced in the Hobart Supreme Court to four years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 18 months.

AFP Detective Senior Constable Dannii Campbell said the AFP and its JACET partner Tasmania Police are committed to keeping vulnerable children safe.

“Today’s sentence is testament to our resolute efforts to ensure children aren’t re-victimised by those seeking to derive disgusting enjoyment from their suffering,” she said.

“The Tasmania JACET will continue to work together to stay a step ahead of this vile industry. We will continue to track down and prosecute those who seek to bring harm to any child.”

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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