Adelaide teenager in court over allegations he sexually groomed girls online

Child_Exploitation

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

A 19-year-old Adelaide man accused of trying to meet a teenage girl for a sexual encounter has today (11 March 2021) faced court over further child abuse-related charges.

The South Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (SA JACET) allege the man befriended underage girls online, groomed them and blackmailed them into engaging in explicit chat and sexual activities via video calls.

Police will also allege he accessed child abuse material online and allegedly sent that to other alleged offenders.

SA JACET are working with law enforcement partners including Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), to identify the victims – who are residents of the United States and Canada - check on their welfare and provide them support.

Police will allege the offences occurred between February 2019, when the charged man was 18, and August 2020.

The 19-year-old – who was first arrested and faced court in August 2020 – faced Adelaide Magistrate's Court today (11 March 2021) charged with 15 offences:

  • Four counts of using a carriage service for sexual activity with a person under 16 years of age, contrary to section 474.25A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • One count of using a carriage service to procure a person under 16 years of age, contrary to section 474.26 the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • Six counts of using a carriage service for child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • Three counts of possession or control of child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • One count of using a carriage service to transmit indecent communication to a person under 16 years of age, contrary to section 474.27A the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). 

The maximum penalty for using a carriage service to transmit indecent communication is seven years' imprisonment, while the maximum penalty for the other offences is 15 years' imprisonment.

The charges above replace the three that the man initially faced. The initial media release is available via our website.

The matter has been adjourned until April (2021).

SA JACET consists of AFP and South Australia Police Officers.

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.

Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protect children online can be found at ThinkUKnow, 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 Media: (02) 5126 9297

Media enquiries:

AFP National Media: (02) 5126 9297.

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Read the AFP Annual Report 2019-20

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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