23 November 2023, 5:56pm
Melbourne man jailed for child sexual assault and exploitation offences
A Broadmeadows man has been jailed for six and a half years after a Victorian Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (VIC-JACET) investigation into the sexual abuse of a child.
The man, 32, was sentenced in the Melbourne County Court yesterday (Wednesday 22 November, 2023) after pleading guilty to four charges relating to the sexual abuse of a child and producing and possessing child abuse material.
The VIC-JACET, comprising of AFP and Victoria Police members, began an investigation in 2022 when police identified the man as an online user uploading child abuse material.
JACET officers executed a search warrant on 13 September 2022, at the man’s residence, where they seized a number of electronic devices, including the man’s phone and a USB, which contained child abuse material.
An examination of the devices revealed the man had produced the child abuse material involving a young female victim. The man was subsequently arrested and charged.
On 18 October 2023 he plead guilty to the following offences:
- Possessing child abuse material accessed or obtained using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
- Production of child abuse material, contrary to section 474.23(1)(a)(ii) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
- Sexual assault of a child under 16, contrary to section 49D(1) Crimes Act 1958 (Vic); and
- Sexual penetration of a child under the age of 12 years, contrary to section 49A(1) Crimes Act 1958 (Vic).
Senior Constable (S/C) Catherine KELLY said the AFP is committed to identifying, targeting and prosecuting all offenders who abuse and exploit children.
“The AFP, along with our law enforcement partners, is dedicated to fighting child sexual abuse and bringing those who commit these offences before the court,” S/C Catherine KELLY said.
“This sentencing outcome should serve as yet another serious warning that law enforcement has zero tolerance for child exploitation and child sexual abuse in any form.
“Victorian JACET members regularly have to deal with the most abhorrent aspects of child sexual abuse and I’d like to thank them in their relentless pursuit to protect children and prosecute those who cause them harm.”
The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (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. 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.
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 thinkuknow. 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 the accce website.
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.