NSW man charged with possessing child abuse material
A South-Western Sydney man is expected to face Downing Centre Local Court today (20 August 2021) charged with child abuse-related offences following an Australian Federal Police (AFP) operation.
The investigation began in March 2021 after the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a report from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) relating to a user of a platform dedicated to the discussion of child sexual abuse and sharing of child abuse material.
AFP investigators linked the internet protocol (IP) address to a 37-year-old Cabramatta man.
Search warrants were executed at the man's home on 19 August 2021, with investigators seizing a laptop. Police will allege during a preliminary review of the laptop, several files containing child abuse material were identified.
The man was arrested and charged with:
- Possessing child abuse material accessed or obtained using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
- Using a carriage service to access child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(i) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
The maximum penalty for these offences is 15 years' imprisonment.
Acting Sergeant Damian Mair said the AFP works with international partners to stop those seeking to access child abuse material online.
"Every image downloaded represents an instance of child abuse. Our officers work tirelessly to hunt down offenders accessing this material online and ensure they are prosecuted," he said.
"This arrest should serve as a warning law enforcement is dedicated to fighting child sexual abuse and bringing those who commit these offences before the court."
The ACCCE is committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and is at the centre of a collaborative national approach to combatting organised child abuse.
The Centre brings together specialist expertise and skills in a central hub, supporting investigations into child sexual abuse and developing prevention strategies focused on creating a safer online environment.
Members of the public who have any information about people involved in child abuse and exploitation are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online.
If you or someone you know are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available.
Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protection children online can be found at ThinkUKnow, an AFP-led education program designed to prevent online child sexual exploitation.
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