Sydney man accused of soliciting child abuse material
A Western Sydney man has appeared in the Penrith Local Court on Friday 10 November, 2023, charged with multiple alleged online exploitation offences including soliciting child abuse material.
The investigation into the alleged offending began this month after the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a report from the UK’s National Crime Agency in relation to an online user allegedly soliciting child abuse material and discussing the sexual abuse of child victims.
Further police inquiries identified a separate report received from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) detailing an online user identified as soliciting child abuse material on social media.
AFP investigators then allegedly linked the man, 26, to both reports.
A search warrant was executed at the man’s Cambridge Park home on 9 November, 2023, with investigators allegedly finding child abuse material on electronic devices. The devices were seized by police and will undergo further forensic examination.
The man was charged with:
- 2 x counts of possess child abuse material using a carriage service contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
- 2 x counts of solicit child abuse material using a carriage service contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(iv) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
- 1 x count of cause child abuse material to be transmitted to self using a carriage service contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(ii) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth); and
- 1 x count of use child under 14 years for the production of child abuse material contrary to section 91G(1)(a) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).
The maximum penalty for the offences includes up to 15 years' imprisonment.
AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Jeremy Staunton said procuring child abuse material was not a victimless crime and was punishable by law.
“These children are real people and not commodities to be used for the grotesque gratification of predators,” Det. A/Supt Staunton said.
“Our investigators are resolute in finding and prosecuting those who access this material and perpetuate harm towards our community’s most vulnerable – our children.”
The man is scheduled to appear at Penrith Local Court again on 12 January, 2024.
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