Man arrested, allegedly soliciting children through apps

This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police.

 

A 36-year-old Melbourne man will face Melbourne Magistrate’s Court today after being charged by Victorian Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (JACET) officers with allegedly soliciting child exploitation material.

On Thursday, 25 January 2018, members from the Victorian JACET, comprising the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Victoria Police, conducted a search warrant at the man’s Sydenham home. During the search, police seized a number of computers and electronic devices.  

Police will allege that the man used chat functions within mobile applications to communicate indecently with children, solicit child exploitation material and send indecent images.

The man has been charged with:

  • soliciting child exploitation material, contrary to Section 474.19 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)
  • transmit indecent communications to a child under the age of 16, contrary to Section 474.27A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for the offences the man has been charged with is imprisonment for 15 years.

AFP Commander Lesa Gale, Manager Victim Based Crime, said the arrest highlighted the avenues predators now use to contact children online.

“Child sex offenders use chat functions embedded in seemingly benign mobile phone applications, online games and social media networks to contact children.

“Many parents may not be aware that chat functions appear on several popular applications and games. This includes popular kids’ apps including Animal Jam and Musical.ly, instant messaging such as Kik, console games and other social networking platforms,” Commander Gale said.

While the AFP works tirelessly with its partners to target these offenders, there are proactive steps that parents and guardians can take.

“We encourage parents and guardians to know the apps and games their children are using, supervise their children online and talk with their children about online safety,” Commander Gale said.  

Further information about online safety and specific apps can be found on the ThinkUKnow website (thinkuknow.org.au).

 

Media enquiries
Victoria Police Media (03) 9247 5205
AFP Media (Canberra) (02) 6131 6333

 

Note to media

CHILD EXPLOITATION IMAGES, NOT ‘CHILD PORNOGRAPHY’

Use of the phrase “child pornography” 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 captures an actual situation where a child has been abused. This is not “pornography”.

 

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