Darwin man charged with possessing child abuse material
A Northern Territory man has faced the Darwin Local Court (16 February 2023) charged with possessing and distributing child abuse material.
The investigation began when the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a report from the United States’ National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about an online user uploading child abuse material.
AFP investigators allegedly linked the man, 18, to the illegal online activity.
The Northern Territory Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (JACET) officers, comprising members from the AFP and Northern Territory Police Force, executed a search warrant at the man’s Malak home on 16 February, 2023.
Investigators located and examined a number of devices including a mobile phone, laptop, USB and SD card, allegedly containing child abuse material. The devices will be subject to further forensic examination.
The man was arrested and charged with the following offences:
- Five counts of possessing or controlling child abuse material, obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code (Cth),
- Two counts of transmitting child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth); and
- Two counts of making available child abuse material, using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth).
The maximum penalties for these offences are 15 years’ imprisonment.
AFP Superintendent Greg Davis said the charges demonstrated the commitment of the AFP and its law enforcement partners to investigate and charge offenders believed to be involved in child exploitation and sexual abuse.
“This arrest should serve as a warning that law enforcement is dedicated to fighting child sexual abuse and bringing those who commit these offences before the court,” he said.
“Our investigators are relentless in their pursuit of anyone sharing or accessing child abuse material.
“But we will always need the community’s help to ensure we are effective in identifying victims and perpetrators.
“If you have information that could help law enforcement, please contact the ACCCE at https://www.accce.gov.au/report,” Superintendent Davis said.
Northern Territory Police Force Acting Detective Superintendent Matt Akers said Northern Territory Police would continue to target those who prey on members of the community.
“We will continue to work alongside the AFP to ensure members of the community are kept safe,” he said.
The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the ACCCE 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 are urged to contact the ACCCE at www.accce.gov.au/report. If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.
If you or someone you know is impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation, support services are available at www.accce.gov.au/support.
Research conducted by the ACCCE in 2020 revealed only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety. 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.
For more information on the role of the ACCCE, what is online child sexual exploitation and how to report it visit www.accce.gov.au.
Note to media:
Use of term 'CHILD ABUSE' MATERIAL NOT 'CHILD PORNOGRAPHY'
The correct legal term is Child Abuse Material – the move to this wording was among amendments to Commonwealth legislation in 2019 to more accurately reflect the gravity of the crimes and the harm inflicted on victims.
Use of the phrase "child pornography" is inaccurate and benefits child sex abusers because it:
- indicates legitimacy and compliance on the part of the victim and therefore legality on the part of the abuser; and
- conjures images of children posing in 'provocative' positions, rather than suffering horrific abuse.
Every photograph or video captures an actual situation where a child has been abused.
AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297