Man, 77, charged with online child abuse related offence

Child_Exploitation

A New South Wales man is expected to appear in Parramatta Local Court today (10 September 2022) charged with transmitting child abuse material.

AFP child protection officers charged the man, 77, yesterday after examining two mobile phones, which had been seized from him by Australian Border Force officers.

ABF officers had searched the man’s baggage when he arrived at Sydney Airport on a flight from overseas in December (2021) and they allegedly found records of suspicious conversations stored on the devices.

They seized the devices and transferred them to the AFP for review.

The man has been charged with use of a carriage service to transmit child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for the offence is 15 years’ imprisonment.

AFP Detective Sergeant Nicole Whelan said police would allege the transmission of child abuse material related to records of sexually explicit conversations about young children on a messaging application.

“Children are not commodities to be used for the abhorrent gratification of sexual predators,” spokesperson said.

“The AFP and our partners are committed to protecting children and identifying and prosecuting anyone who tries to prey on them.”

A forensic review of seized electronic devices is ongoing.

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.

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Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation - visit website

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