Ipswich man charged over alleged sexualised conversations with children

Several electronic items including a laptop and mobile phones are sealed in AFP evidence bags.

Editor's note: Images can be downloaded via Hightail.

A 26-year-old Queensland man has faced Ipswich Magistrates Court today (26 August, 2021) accused of transmitting and uploading child abuse material and having sexualised conversations with children.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) charged the man in May this year, after investigating a report from the United States National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), sent to the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE).

The NCMEC report alleged a person, suspected to be in Queensland, was transmitting and uploading child abuse material using a Gmail and Snapchat account and posing as a child to have sexualised conversations with children online. Police enquiries allegedly connected the 26-year-old to the accounts.

Investigators from AFP Brisbane Child Protection Operations executed a search warrant at a home in Ipswich on 19 May 2021.

Officers located a number of electronic and storage devices during the search warrant through the use of a technology detection dog, including USB thumb drives, computer hard drives, mobile phones, and laptop computers.

The man was charged with possessing child abuse material obtained or accessed by a carriage service, using a carriage service to transmit indecent communications to other persons under 16 years old and accessing child abuse material using a carriage service.

The potential maximum penalty for the offence is 15 years imprisonment.

He is next due to appear in court on October 7, 2021.

AFP Child Protection Operations Detective Acting Superintendent Tim Puchala said the AFP and the ACCCE are regularly seeing cases involving children being targeted by online child sex offenders through social networking, image or video-sharing apps, or instant messaging to self-produce online child sexual exploitation material.

“Some offenders may contact children and young people online and pretend to be someone else, even another young person, to groom them,” he said.

The ACCCE is committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and is at the centre of a collaborative national approach to combatting organised child abuse.

The Centre brings together specialist expertise and skills in a central hub, supporting investigations into child sexual abuse and developing prevention strategies focused on creating a safer online environment.

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.

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

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Read the AFP Annual Report 2020-21

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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