Two men charged over alleged online child abuse offences
Two men are scheduled to face Brisbane Magistrate Court today (20 May 2022), after they were both charged with possessing child abuse material following separate investigations by the AFP Northern Command Child Protection Operations team.
A 55-year-old man was charged on 23 February 2022 after officers allegedly located child abuse material on electronic devices found during a search of the man’s residence in Durack.
In an unrelated investigation, a 41-year-old man was charged after officers allegedly found files containing child abuse material on two hard drives and a mobile phone located at the man’s residence in West End.
Both investigations were launched after the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in relation to the uploading of child abuse material via the Google Drive platform by people, believed to be in Australia.
Investigators from the Northern Command Child Protection Operations team allegedly linked the men to the accounts.
AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Child Protection Operations Mary Bolton said the investigations showed the importance of the AFP’s international network.
“We work with partners around the world to protect children online and these investigations show why so vital to our success,” she said.
“It takes a network to break a network and the AFP is working tirelessly with partners around the world to bring to justice anyone sharing child abuse material.”
Both men have been charged with possessing or controlling child abuse material obtained or accessed by using a carriage service.
The maximum penalty for these offences is 15 years’ imprisonment.
The AFP is also urging the public to help it solve cold case child abuse investigations through its Stop Child Abuse – Trace an Object initiative. The smallest clue can often help solve a case.
The world-leading initiative is centred on the publishing of non-confrontational images that can be seen in child exploitation online material such as pieces of clothing or bedding.
Australian investigators believe the images are linked to victims in the Asia Pacific Region, including Australia, and are calling on the community to view the images and make a report at www.accce.gov.au/trace
The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the ACCCE is at the centre of a collaborative national approach to combatting child abuse.
The ACCCE brings together specialist expertise and skills in a central hub, supporting investigations into child sexual abuse 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.
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