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Melbourne man charged after allegedly sexually abusing child offshore

16 November 2022, 8:10am
Media Release

Melbourne man charged after allegedly sexually abusing child offshore

An Epping man appeared before the Melbourne Magistrates court yesterday afternoon (15 November, 2022) after allegedly sexually abusing a child in the Philippines.

An investigation into the man, 44, began in September 2022 after he landed on a flight into Melbourne International Airport and was selected for a baggage examination, upon arrival, by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers.

A mobile phone was seized after potential child abuse material (CAM) was identified. The matter was subsequently referred to the AFP and a Victorian Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET) investigation was launched.

Officers from the Victorian JACET – comprising members from the AFP and Victoria Police – reviewed the seized phone and identified a series of images and videos, including content allegedly showing the man engaging in sexual intercourse with a child.  

Investigators executed a search warrant on the man’s Epping home early yesterday morning (15 November, 2022) where they located and examined several electronic devices.  Further alleged child abuse material was located on a laptop and external hard drive.

The man was arrested and charged with:

  • Two counts of engaging in sexual intercourse with a child outside Australia, contrary to section 272.8 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
    • Maximum penalty 25 years' imprisonment.
  • One count of engaging in sexual activity with a child outside Australia, contrary to section 272.9 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) and;
    • Maximum penalty 20 years' imprisonment.
  • Two counts of possessing child abuse material accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
    • Maximum penalty 15 years' imprisonment.

AFP Leading Senior Constable Christopher Spillane said the arrest was another reminder of the commitment of the AFP and its law enforcement partners to protect children and identify and prosecute anyone who sought to exploit and harm them. 

"Our common goal is to identify people who are harming children – anywhere in the world – and ensure they are brought before the courts. The AFP will use its International Network to liaise with our overseas colleagues to try and identify abused children and ensure they are protected from future harm" Leading Senior Constable Spillane 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 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

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

Note to media:


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.

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