49-year-old Palmerston man charged with child exploitation offences

One of the seized devices from the Palmertson search warrant

A 49-year-old Palmerston man is scheduled to appear in Darwin Local Court this morning (10 March 2020) after the Northern Territory Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (NT JACET) charged him with the alleged possession of child abuse material.

Officers from the South Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (SA JACET) conducted inquiries into the online activities of a user allegedly accessing child abuse material via peer-to-peer networks.

Using specialised training in child protection systems, delivered by the US-based Child Rescue Coalition at the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) in Brisbane, further alleged accessing of child abuse material was identified.

Subsequent investigations by SA JACET identified the user as residing in the Northern Territory and the matter was referred to the NT JACET for further investigation.

On 28 February 2020 members of the NT JACET, with assistance from Northern Territory Police, executed a search warrant at a home in the Palmerston suburb of Farrar. Investigators seized three laptops, two internal hard drives and a USB drive which police will allege contain child abuse material.

Members of the NT JACET issued the Palmerston man a notice to appear on two charges, including:

  • One count of accessing child abuse material using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
  • One count of possessing child abuse material, the material being child pornography material, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for these offences is 15 years imprisonment.

AFP Assistant Commissioner Northern Command Lesa Gale said a coordinated approach to combatting offences against children is key to bringing offenders before court.

“From July 2019 to date the ACCCE received more than 11,000 reports of child exploitation involving Australians or Australian children,” AC Gale said.

“If we are to combat a problem of this size and scale then law enforcement has to work together.

“This arrest is a warning to those who download vile child abuse material that law enforcement is united in fighting child abuse online.”

Members of the public who have any information about people involved in the possession or sharing of child exploitation material 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.

Images of seized devices are available here:

https://spaces.hightail.com/space/a2MBC65aJl

Note to media:

USE OF TERMS ‘CHILD ABUSE’, 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 National Media: (02) 5126 9297

National Security Hotline

Read the AFP Annual Report 2018-19

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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