Tasmanian man jailed for live distance child abuse charges
A Tasmanian man has been jailed for three years and six months after facing the Supreme Court of Tasmania yesterday (10 November 2022) over online child abuse material and child sex procurement offences.
The 64-year-old man was sentenced to three years and six months’ imprisonment following a Tasmanian Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (TAS JACET) investigation.
As a result of an extensive international investigation, 13 victims were removed from harm and one alleged facilitator was arrested in the Philippines.
The investigation began on 14 October 2019, when the man arrived at Melbourne Airport on a flight from Doha, Qatar.
Upon entering Australia, the man was stopped by Australian Border Force (ABF) for a routine screening, before officers identified images depicting child abuse material on his mobile phone.
On the following day (15 October 2019), the Tasmanian JACET executed a search warrant at the man’s home with investigators locating additional child abuse material on two mobile phones.
In addition, online messages were found between the man and an overseas facilitator who organised and sent live videos of children in sexually explicit and abusive acts.
AFP Detective Sergeant Aaron Hardcastle praised the efforts of investigators during an intense and horrific investigation.
“The result of this prosecution demonstrates the investigative capabilities and networks of the AFP.”
“Working with our domestic and international partners, we will stop at nothing to ensure victims are rescued and ensure those who engage in the vile exploitation of any child are brought to justice”.
The AFP’s Senior Officer in Manila, Detective Superintendent Andrew Perkins, said the international investigation demonstrated the importance of cross-border collaboration to stop the abuse of children.
“This highlights the effectiveness of the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Centre (PICACC) and the commitment of the Australian Federal Police, Philippine authorities and PICACC partner agencies in driving a collaborative response to combating child exploitation and protecting children wherever they may live,” Detective Superintendent Perkins said.
“Protecting children is our priority and it is rewarding to be able to assist Philippines authorities in this investigation that has led to a facilitator in the Philippines being disrupted and 13 children removed from further harm.”
“Today’s sentencing sends a strong message that, if you are taking part in this vile industry, you will be prosecuted and face significant time behind bars.”
The man pleaded guilty to the following charges:
- Procuring a child to engage in sexual activity outside Australia, contrary to section 272.14 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
- 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 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)
- Import objectionable material contrary to regulation 4A of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956.
The man was sentenced to three years and six months’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 18 months.
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 and exploitation are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or www.accce.gov.au/report. If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.
Research conducted by the ACCCE in 2020 revealed only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety.
An award-winning podcast launched last year by the ACCCE 'Closing The Net' is working to change that, showcasing that knowledge is power and that our only chance to help prevent this issue is if we bring a 'whole-of-community' response.
The podcast series offers valuable tips and advice on how to keep kids safe online. Listen to the Closing The Net podcast on your favourite streaming platform.
If you or someone you know are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available at www.accce.gov.au/support.
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.
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