Adelaide man sentenced for child abuse offences

Child_Exploitation

A Davoren Park man was yesterday (18 July 2022) sentenced to over three years’ jail for engaging in sexual conversations and providing sexually explicit photos to an individual he believed to be a juvenile girl.

The South Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (SA JACET) began investigating the man after receiving a report from the United States National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

The report indicated an Australian user was uploading child abuse material to an online platform, which police later identified to be the Davoren Park man.

The man, 39, sent a friend request in October 2020 to someone he thought was a juvenile girl, but was actually a covert police officer.

The man’s online conversations soon became sexual in nature and included sending sexually explicit images and videos of himself.

Members from the SA JACET executed a search warrant at the man’s home in March 2021, where he was arrested.

A mobile phone seized during the search warrant was found to have a significant amount of child abuse material that the man had accessed and transmitted.

Detective Acting Superintendent Rachel Ball said this case should be a warning to people who were trying to prey on children online.

“The AFP and our partners have officers working on a range of platforms online to identify people trying to harm children. The next ‘child’ you try to exploit could instead be a police officer,” she said.

“Law enforcement is dedicated to fighting child sexual abuse and our investigators are relentless in their pursuit of anyone sharing or accessing child abuse material.

“If you have information that could help law enforcement, please contact the ACCCE at accce.gov.au/report.”

The man, 39, plead guilty to the following offences:

  • one count of possessing or controlling child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • one count of using a carriage service to access child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • two counts of using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth); and
  • one count of making a child amenable to sexual activity, contrary to section 63B of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA).

He was sentenced to one year and four months’ imprisonment for the state offence and a further one year and nine months’ for the Commonwealth offences.

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 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.

Research conducted by the ACCCE in 2020 revealed only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety.

An award-winning podcast launched last year by the ACCCE 'Closing The Net' is working to change that, showcasing that knowledge is power and that our only chance to help prevent this issue is if we bring a 'whole-of-community' response.

The podcast series offers valuable tips and advice on how to keep kids safe online. Listen to the Closing The Net podcast on your favourite streaming platform.

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.

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