06 October 2023, 8:31am
Queensland man charged with online child abuse offences after international tip-off
A Queensland man accused of accessing and possessing child abuse material is expected to face the Beenleigh Magistrates’ Court today (Friday 6 October, 2023).
Officers from the Queensland Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET) arrested and charged the man, 19, on 1 September, 2023.
The investigation was launched after the AFP received a report from police in the United States alleging that a person suspected to be in Queensland was uploading child abuse material to a group chat on a messaging application.
Police allegedly connected the man to the account and JACET investigators executed a search warrant at a home in Eagleby on 1 September, 2023.
Investigators allegedly located child abuse material on two mobile phones, which were seized for further forensic examination.
AFP Detective Acting Inspector Tim Murphy said the possession, transmission or accessing of child abuse material was a crime.
"Anyone who views or accesses images of children being abused is contributing to their harm and is perpetuating the cycle of abuse against them,” he said. “This was not a victimless crime. Children should never be commodities to be used for the abhorrent gratification of online child sex offenders.”
The man was charged with two offences:
- Possessing child abuse material, obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth); and
- Use carriage service to access child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(i) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).
The maximum penalty for these offences is 15 years' imprisonment.
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