15 November 2023, 2:03pm
South Australian man jailed for grooming child
A South Australian man has been sentenced to one year imprisonment by the Adelaide District Court for engaging in sexualised conversations with a teenage girl.
The Woodleigh man, 31, was sentenced on November 13, 2023 after pleading guilty to one offence on 28 July 2023.
The investigation began when the girl’s mother reported suspicious social media messages on her daughter’s mobile phone to ACT Police on 17 May 2021. Her daughter was 14 at the time of the offending.
The man was subsequently identified as a South Australian resident and the South Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (SA JACET) executed a search warrant at his Woodleigh home on 15 August 2022.
A mobile phone was seized for further analysis and he was charged with:
- Using a carriage service to transmit communication with intention of making it easier to procure the recipient, being a person under 16 years of age, to engage in sexual activity, contrary to s474.27(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).
The man was sentenced to one year in jail, suspended after three months in custody with another 12 months under a recognisance order.
AFP Sergeant Joe Barry said the man engaged in sexualised conversations with the girl on a number of platforms, including Snapchat.
“This case is another reminder of the prevalence of online child abuse but it is also an example of how parents and caregivers can act to protect children,” he said.
“We urge all parents and care givers to pay close attention to what their children are doing online and report abuse straight away.
“The AFP and other law enforcement agencies will be relentless in pursuing people who commit these vile acts.”
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.
Visit the ACCCE website for more information on the role of the ACCCE, what is online child sexual exploitation and how to report it.
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.