05 October 2023, 11:30am
Northern NSW man jailed for transmitting and soliciting child abuse material
Editor’s note: Arrest vision is available via Hightail
A Hunter man, 28, has been sentenced to a maximum of five years imprisonment in the Newcastle District Court for a range of child abuse material offences.
The investigation began after 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 a user uploading child abuse material to several online platforms.
AFP investigators linked the Hunter region man, then 26, to the illegal activity.
A search warrant was executed at the man’s home near Raymond Terrance in August 2022, with AFP investigators seizing a mobile phone and laptop that contained child abuse material.
AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Stuart Millen warned that watching, downloading or purchasing child abuse material was not a victimless crime.
“The charges demonstrated the AFP's commitment to investigate and charge offenders believed to be involved in child exploitation and sexual abuse,” Det A/Supt Millen added.
“Children are not commodities to be used for the abhorrent gratification of sexual predators, and our investigators will continue to be relentless in their pursuit of anyone sharing or accessing child abuse material.
“Anyone who views this material is committing a crime.”
The man pleaded guilty to:
- One count of using a carriage service to procure child under 16 years of age, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth);
- One count of using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth);
- Two counts of using a carriage service to cause child abuse material to be transmitted to self, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth);
- One count of using a carriage service to access child abuse material contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth); and
- One count of possessing or controlling child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code (Cth).
He was sentenced to five years imprisonment by the Newcastle District Court yesterday (4 October, 2023), with a non-parole period of three years.
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 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.