Brisbane man jailed for soliciting and sharing child abuse material

Child_Exploitation

A 57-year-old Chapel Hill man has been sentenced to three and a half years in jail for soliciting and sharing child abuse material on social media, following an Australian Federal Police (AFP) child protection investigation.

The man was sentenced by the Supreme Court of Queensland yesterday (8 October 2021) after pleading guilty on 12 August 2021 to 24 offences, including posing as a 16-year-old boy to try to obtain explicit content from female children aged between 10 and 16.

The investigation began in December 2018 after the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a report from the United States' National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding the conduct of a Snapchat user.

Investigators from the Brisbane Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET) allegedly linked the 57-year-old man to the Snapchat account.

A search warrant was executed at his home in August 2019, with investigators seizing a mobile phone and a USB found to contain child abuse material (CAM).

A full examination of the seized devices revealed the accused was allegedly soliciting and sharing CAM with other users online.

Additionally, the man allegedly posed as a 16-year-old boy on multiple social media applications, and transmitted indecent communications in an attempt to obtain CAM from a number of female children aged between 10 and 16.

The man was sentenced for 24 offences, including:

  • Aggravated use of a carriage service to make available child pornography material, contrary to section 474.24A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth));
  • Using a carriage service to solicit child pornography material, contrary to section 474.19(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • Using a carriage service to access child pornography material, contrary to section 474.19(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • 19 counts of using a carriage service to transmit indecent communication to a person under 16 years of age, contrary to section 474.27A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth); and
  • Two counts of knowingly possessing child exploitation material, contrary to section 228D of the Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Detective Acting Superintendent Tim Puchala said offenders use a variety of tactics to engage with children and young people to self-produce child abuse material.

"An offender may pretend to be someone else, even another young person, to groom or coerce a child into creating and sending child abuse material," Detective Acting Superintendent Puchala said.

"Parents and carers are urged to have open and honest conversations with their children about what they do online, and to know what to do if something makes them feel unsafe or uncomfortable."

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 or report online to the ACCCE.

If you or someone you know are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available.

Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protection 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

National Security Hotline

Read the AFP Annual Report 2019-20

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

Platypus Online: Read. Discover. Enjoy.