A 35-year-old Canning Vale man is expected to face Perth Magistrates Court today (Friday, 19 June 2020) for allegedly possessing child abuse material, including videos of infants being sexually abused.
The Australian Federal Police Child Protection Triage Unit (AFP CPTU) launched an investigation after a report from the United States’ National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).
The report alleged an internet user in Australia had uploaded several digital media files depicting children being abused to an online social media platform.
The 35-year-old man was identified as the person suspected of transmitting the material.
On 28 May 2020, Western Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (WA JACET) officers executed a search warrant at the man’s home and seized multiple electronic devices which they allege contain child abuse material.
The man has been charged with one count of possessing child abuse material contrary to s474.22A Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) and faces a potential 15 years’ imprisonment if convicted.
A digital forensic examination of the seized devices is ongoing and police have not ruled out laying further charges.
AFP Sergeant Joel Van Den Brun, from WA JACET, said it is distressing to think of any child being abused to satisfy an adult’s depraved sexual impulses, but for infants to be violated is particularly horrifying.
“If you view and share this type of abhorrent material online, you are complicit in the physical and emotional abuse of children – it’s as simple as that,” Sergeant Van Den Brun said.
“Child sexual abuse causes irreparable trauma and we will continue to be relentless in our pursuit of anyone who is involved in exploiting or hurting children, online and offline.
“While we have seen an alarming increase in the appetite for child exploitation material, today’s outcome is a reminder to the community that your online behaviour is not anonymous and the law will catch up with you.”
The WA JACET comprises members of the Western Australia Police Force and AFP.
The AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation, which is head-quartered in Brisbane, is at the centre of a collaborative national approach to combatting organised child abuse.
Reports to the ACCCE’s Child Protection Triage Unit increased from 776 per month on average between October 2018 and March 2019, to 1731 per month between October 2019 and March 2020.
The ACCCE brings together specialist expertise and skills in a central hub, supporting investigations into child sexual abuse and developing prevention strategies focused on creating a safer online environment.
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.