Adelaide man sentenced over online child abuse offences

Child_Exploitation

This is a joint release between Australian Federal Police and South Australia Police.

A 39-year-old man who conversed online about his desire to sexually abuse minors and had hundreds of videos and images showing children being abused has been sentenced to more than a year’s imprisonment.

The man was sentenced today (17 June 2022) by the South Australia District Court to two terms of imprisonment for three offences to which he pleaded guilty in July 2021.

Investigators from the South Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (SA JACET), which comprises AFP and SA Police, arrested the man in March 2021 after he was identified during an investigation by police colleagues in Victoria.

Victoria JACET officers examined electronic devices belonging to a Victorian man in February (2021), where they found messages exchanged between the pair about their desires to abuse children.

SA JACET officers executed a search warrant at the Adelaide man’s home in March (2021) and seized a phone, laptop and two USB devices – one of them encrypted.

Their examination of the devices found records of conversations with the Victorian man dating back to late 2019. They also contained more than 600 videos and images of child abuse material, many showing children who appeared to be under-14.

AFP Acting Sergeant Jordan Dowling said the AFP was working with partners around Australia, and overseas, to protect children.

“Anyone who views or accesses videos and images of children being abused is contributing to their harm,” he said. “Discussions about a desire to abuse children, as well as animated content, also constitutes child abuse material.

“It doesn’t matter who you are, or what your position in the community is. If you seek to exploit children, we will come for you and bring you to account.”

The man was convicted of three offences:

  • Use carriage service to access and transmit child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • Possess child exploitation material (aggravated offence), contrary to section 63A of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA);
  • Possess child exploitation material, contrary to 63A of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA).

The man was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment for the first charge, to be served as a Recognizance Release Order to be of good behaviour for two years.

For the other two charges, he was sentenced to one year, three months and 15 days’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of eight months. This will be served as home detention.

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 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.

Media enquiries:

AFP National Media: (02) 5126 9297

If it doesn't add up, speak up. Call the National Security Hotline - 1800 123 400.

Read the AFP Annual Report 2020-21

Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation - visit website

Platypus Online: Read. Discover. Enjoy.