Toowoomba man due to appear on child abuse material charges
Editor's note: Images from this investigation are available for download.
A 25-year-old man is due to appear in Toowoomba Magistrates Court today (14 December 2021) after police found child abuse material on a mobile phone allegedly belonging to him.
The investigation began after the Australian Federal Police-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation received a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the United States.
The report detailed an online user, believed to be in Australia, uploading child abuse material to the Kik messenger platform.
Enquiries by the ACCCE and the Brisbane Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (JACET) allegedly linked the 25-year-old man to the account.
A search warrant was executed at the Glenvale man's home on 4 November 2021, where investigators seized a mobile phone containing child abuse material.
The man has been charged with two counts of possessing child abuse material and two counts of accessing child abuse material.
Theses offence carries a maximum penalty of 15 years' imprisonment.
AFP Sergeant Bianca Warland from the Brisbane JACET said accessing or possessing child abuse material perpetuates the abuse of child victims.
"Possessing this horrific material is a crime itself and every time someone uploads or accesses it represents a violation of a child victim. The AFP will never stop working to identify people involved in this vile activity and put them before the court," Sergeant Warland said.
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.
You can also make a report online by alerting the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation via the Report Abuse button.
If you or someone you know are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available, visit the ACCCE to learn more.
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