AFP arrest Sydney man following child exploitation investigation

A 23-year-old Sydney man is due to appear before Sydney Central Local Court today to face child exploitation charges.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) began investigations earlier this month after receiving information from a member of the public that a person was engaging in sexualised conversations with an Australian teenager through a social media platform.

Subsequent enquiries by the AFP NSW Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET) and a criminal investigations team identified a 23-year-old Manly Vale man as being allegedly responsible for these conversations.

Police will allege the man lied about his age and identity to elicit sexually explicit photos from the teenager, and then later threatened to share the images with the teenager’s friends and family if they did not comply with requests to send further explicit material. The teenager reported the information to their parents, who alerted police.

The Manly Vale man was arrested by the AFP yesterday (Wednesday 20 February) on arrival from a flight at Sydney International Airport. A search warrant was also executed at his Manly Vale residence.

He was charged with five offences:

  • Use carriage service to groom person under 16 years for sexual activity, contrary to section 474.27(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  •  Use carriage service to solicit child pornography, contrary to section 474.19 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • Use carriage service to transmit child pornography, contrary to Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • Use carriage service to threaten serious harm, contrary to 474.15(2) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • Use carriage service to plan/procure for sexual activity with person under 16 years, contrary to section 474.25C of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);

AFP Detective Sergeant Jarryd Dunbar, NSW JACET, said the investigation is a reminder of the importance of alerting police to any suspicious online activity.

“We are thankful the victim in this investigation was courageous enough to speak up and let their parents know what had happened, and that the parents encouraged open communication with their child about their online activity,” Detective Sergeant Dunbar said.

“By speaking up, this brave act potentially saved further Australian children from harm.”

Members of the community who have information about persons involved in child exploitation material are urged to report their suspicions through the ‘Report Child Abuse’ link of the AFP website, or via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Parents and carers are encouraged to find out what apps their children are using and who they are interacting with online. Supervision for young children can also be a factor in preventing grooming or unwanted contact online.

The ThinkUKnow online safety program offers free presentations for parents, carers, teachers and students to encourage safer online activity. To book a presentation or find further information, visit https://www.thinkuknow.org.au/.

To download arrest footage, click here.

NOTE FOR MEDIA: THIS IS CHILD EXPLOITATION, NOT ‘CHILD PORNOGRAPHY’

Use of the phrase ‘child pornography’ actually 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
  • it conjures up 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) 6131 6333

 

 

National Security Hotline

Read the AFP Annual Report 2018-19

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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