WA man, 70, charged with online child exploitation offences

A 70-year-old WA man is expected to face Geraldton Magistrate’s Court today (22 October 2020) on two charges of possessing child abuse material.

The Western Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (WA JACET) arrested and charged the man last month (21 September 2020) after executing a search warrant at his home in WA’s Mid-West.

Investigators and digital forensic experts allegedly found child abuse material on two electronic devices and a detailed examination of devices is ongoing.

The man has been charged with two counts of possess child abuse material obtained through a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The offence carries a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment.

WA JACET comprises AFP and WA Police Force investigators and the team is the frontline response to tackling these offences in the State.

AFP Sergeant Joel Van Den Brun, from WA JACET, said sadly the appetite for child abuse material is increasing.

“If you access or trade these videos and images online, or pay to watch a livestream of children being abused in another country, you are complicit in the physical abuse of children,” he said.

“The AFP and our partners are committed to identifying anyone involved in the harm of children, whether they are in Australia or overseas, no matter their age or personal circumstances – police scrutiny is at an all-time high. “It’s only a matter of time before we come knocking on your door.”

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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