WA man charged with uploading child abuse material to social media

This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and Western Australia Police

A Perth man, 37, is expected to face Perth Magistrates Court today (11 August 2022) charged with possessing and accessing child abuse material.

The Western Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team ( JACET), which comprises AFP and WA Police officers, charged the man, with three offences, after a forensic examination of electronic devices found at his home on 20 July 2022.

We will allege they contained child abuse material. Investigators executed a search warrant at the man’s home in Perth’s eastern suburbs as a result of a report to the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation from the United States’ National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in January 2022.

The report identified an online user believed to be in WA had uploaded child abuse material to an online platform and AFP investigators were allegedly able to link the 37-year-old to the associated account.

The man will face court today charged with:

  • Two counts of possessing of child abuse material obtained or accessed through a carriage service contrary to section 422A(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
  • One count of accessing child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22 (1)(a)(i) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for these offences is 15 years’ imprisonment.

AFP Detective Sergeant Ross Hinscliff said this arrest was another reminder of the commitment undertaken by the AFP and its partners to protect children and identify and prosecute anyone who seeks to exploit and harm them.

“This arrest should serve as a warning law enforcement is dedicated to fighting child sexual abuse and bringing those who commit these offences before the court.” he said.

The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation 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 and exploitation are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or www.accce.gov.au/report. If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.

Research conducted by the ACCCE in 2020 revealed only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety.

An award-winning podcast launched last year by the ACCCE ‘Closing The Net’ is working to change that, showcasing that knowledge is power and that our only chance to help prevent this issue is if we bring a ‘whole-of-community’ response.

The podcast series offers valuable tips and advice on how to keep kids safe online. Listen to the Closing The Net podcast on your favourite streaming platform.

If you or someone you know are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available at www.accce.gov.au/support.

Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protect children online can be found at www.thinkuknow.org.au, an AFP-led education program designed to prevent online child sexual exploitation.

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