04 October 2023, 3:04pm
Western Sydney man charged with online child abuse related offences
A Western Sydney man appeared in Penrith Local Court yesterday (3 October, 2023) charged with online child abuse-related offences.
The AFP investigation began after the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) Child Protection Triage Unit received a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in relation to child abuse material uploaded to an online gaming platform.
AFP investigators allegedly identified a man engaging in conversations with a juvenile while on a gaming platform.
A search warrant was executed at the man’s Blackett home on 29 September, 2023 with investigators allegedly finding child abuse material on electronic devices. The devices will be subject to further forensic examination.
The man was charged following the search warrant.
AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Stuart Millen said the charges demonstrated the AFP's commitment to investigate and charge offenders believed to be involved in child exploitation and sexual abuse.
“This arrest should serve as a warning that law enforcement is dedicated to fighting child sexual abuse and bringing those who commit these offences before the court.
“Our investigators are relentless in their pursuit of anyone sharing or accessing child abuse material,” Det. a/Supt Millen said.
“People sharing this material are creating a market for this abhorrent material, and are a key audience for those abusing children to feed this horrible demand.
“If you have information that could help law enforcement, please contact the ACCCE at https://www.accce.gov.au/report.”
The man was charged with:
- One count of possess or control child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code (Cth);
- Two counts of using a carriage service to solicit child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(iv) of the Criminal Code (Cth);
- One count of using a carriage service to transmit indecent communication to person under 16 years of age, contrary to Section 474.27A of the Criminal Code (Cth).
The maximum penalty for each offence is 15 years' imprisonment, 15 years' imprisonment and 10 years’ imprisonment, respectively.
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 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