Media Release: Man re-arrested for child sexual exploitation offences

Release Date: Thursday, July 18 2013, 12:00 AM

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has arrested a 51-year-old Hurstville man after he allegedly re-offended by accessing and possessing child exploitation material over the internet. 

The man is expected to face Sutherland Local Court today.

AFP National Coordinator Child Protection Operations Detective Superintendent Todd Hunter said the AFP takes allegations of re-offending seriously and will take strong action, as demonstrated by this arrest, to monitor and ensure those previously charged and convicted with child exploitation offences are not re-offending.

“Those who contemplate continuing this abhorrent behaviour will be pursued to ensure the safety of our children,” Superintendent Hunter said.

“The AFP will continue to work relentlessly to prevent further offending associated with the production, access and distribution of child exploitation material.”

The AFP made the arrest after receiving information from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) alleging the man uploaded child exploitation images to social media. AFP Child Protection Operations is continuing inquiries with state police partners regarding other alleged offences involving the Hurstville man.

The man was charged with using a carriage service to access and possess child exploitation material. The maximum penalty for these offences is 15 years imprisonment.

“The AFP remains committed to combating the exploitation of children and takes the crimes of producing, accessing, possessing and distributing child exploitation material very seriously,” Superintendent Hunter said.

Detective Superintendent Hunter reminded parents and carers to be vigilant in their supervision of children and young person’s use of the internet. 

“While the internet is a fantastic learning and education tool, unfortunately it also is able to be utilised by those who seek to exploit it to further the sexual exploitation of children,” he said

“In recent times we have seen too many children and young people become victim to those who seek to exploit their naivety and vulnerability, particularly through becoming victims of grooming or ‘sextortion’,” Superintendent Hunter said.

Sextortion is a disturbing trend where children and young people are being coerced by online predators into taking compromising images of themselves or ‘selfies’ leading to a spiral of further exploitation and the production of what may constitute illegal child exploitation material. 

Detective Superintendent Hunter said that the consequences of ‘selfies’ , particularly compromising ones, once posted on the internet are ever-lasting and may continue to impact on peoples lives for years to come, as well as constituting criminal offences in some circumstances.

As with all things on the internet – Think B4 U Post!

Note to media:

CHILD EXPLOITATION IMAGES, NOT ‘CHILD PORNOGRAPHY’

Use of the phrase ‘child pornography’ actually benefits child sex abusers:

  • It indicates legitimacy and compliance on the part of the victim and therefore legality on the part of the abuser;
  • It conjures up images of children posing in ‘provocative’ positions, rather than suffering horrific abuse.

Every photograph captures an actual situation where a child has been abused. This is not pornography.

Media enquiries:
AFP National Media (02) 6131 6333