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07 July 2024, 12:58pm
Media Release

US national jailed for producing and possessing child abuse material

A United States national residing in Victoria has been sentenced to two years' imprisonment for possessing and producing child abuse material.

The man, 51, was sentenced by the Victorian County Court in Bendigo on Wednesday (3 July, 2024) after pleading guilty in June, 2024 to three child abuse related offences.

The Victorian Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET), comprising AFP and Victoria Police, started investigating the man after receiving information from NSW Police and the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) in December, 2022, which was identified during a separate child exploitation investigation.

Victoria JACET investigators then linked the US national to online child abuse offending and executed a search warrant at his Maryborough home in July, 2023. During the search investigators located several electronic devices, including a mobile phone, found to contain child abuse material. The electronic devices were seized for further forensic examination.

The man was arrested and charged with one Commonwealth offence relating to the possession of online child abuse material. He was later released on bail.

In September, 2023, following further forensic examination of the man's electronic devices, he was further charged with two state-based child abuse offences, including the production of sexually explicit child abuse material.

The man has been sentenced to two years' imprisonment for the state-based offending, with a non-parole period of 14 months.

He was sentenced to 14 months' imprisonment for the Commonwealth offending.

He will spend 17 months in jail before he is eligible to spend the remainder of his sentence on a recognisance release order.

AFP Detective Acting Inspector Scot Kennedy said the AFP would continue to work closely with its local, Commonwealth and international law enforcement partners to protect children and bring to justice those who exploited or harmed them.

"This is not a victimless crime. Children are not commodities to be used for the abhorrent gratification of sexual predators," Acting Insp Kennedy said.

"Child abuse causes significant harm to victims and they suffer each time images or videos of their abuse is accessed and shared."

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. 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 the ThinkUKnow website, 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 the ACCCE website.

Note to media


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.

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