19-year-old charged with multiple child abuse offences

A 19-year-old man is scheduled to appear in Darwin Local Court today after the Northern Territory Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (NT JACET) charged him with multiple child abuse offences.

In late 2019, the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a referral from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in relation to an online user allegedly transmitting child abuse material on multiple social media platforms.

The 19-year-old Darwin man was later identified as the alleged user of this online account.

In June 2020, the matter was referred to NT JACET, comprising of members from the Australian Federal Police and Northern Territory Police.

In that same month, investigators executed a search warrant on the man’s residence in Darwin, seizing mobile phones, USB storage devices and various children’s underwear.

The man was arrested and subsequently charged with:

  • One count possession of child abuse material, contrary to Section 125B, Criminal Code Act 1983 (NT), with a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment;
  • One count possession of child abuse material, contrary to Section 474.22A, Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), with a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment;
  • Three counts of transmit child abuse material, contrary to Section 474.22, Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) , with a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment;
  • One count of access child abuse material, contrary to Section 474.22, Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), with a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment; and
  • One count of unlawful possession, contrary to Section 61, Summary Offences Act 1923 (NT), with a maximum penalty of 12 months imprisonment.

AFP Child Protection and Human Trafficking Operations Detective Superintendent Paula Hudson warned perpetrators of this crime that accessing and sharing child abuse material on social media and other online forums “is not a simple click of a button”.

“This investigation is an example that your actions online have real world consequences. If you use or share child abuse material, you are implicit in the physical and emotional harm of children.

“Our work with domestic and international partners is key to targeting those involved in this horrendous industry and stopping them from causing further harm to victims of online child abuse,” said Det. Supt. Hudson.  

Northern Territory Police Detective Sergeant Paul Lawson said: “This is another great example of a joint multi agency operation to identify and apprehend those who, by their actions, pose a serious risk to the safety of our community. Northern Territory Police and Australian Federal Police will continue to work together to this end.”

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 at www.accce.gov.au/report.

Note to media:

USE OF TERM 'CHILD ABUSE' MATERIAL, NOT 'CHILD PORNOGRAPHY'

Use of the phrase "child pornography" 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 captures an actual situation where a child has been abused. This is not "pornography".

Media enquiries:

AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297

NT Police media: (08) 8985 8838

National Security Hotline

Read the AFP Annual Report 2019-20

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

Platypus Online: Read. Discover. Enjoy.