New South Wales man charged with possessing child abuse material

hand holding handcuffs

VISION OF THE ARREST AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD VIA HIGHTAIL

A 30-year-old Macksville man was remanded in custody yesterday (Tuesday, 14 September 2021) after being charged with seven child abuse-related offences following an Australian Federal Police operation.

The investigation began in February 2021 after the AFP -led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding a Kik social media user uploading child abuse material (CAM).

Investigators from AFP Eastern Command Child Protection Operations allegedly linked the 30-year-old Macksville man to the Kik account.

A search warrant was executed at the man's home yesterday with investigators seizing two laptops, a mobile phone, a hard disk drive and a memory card. The digital devices will now be subject to further forensic examination.

The man was arrested and charged with:

  • Four counts of possessing child abuse material accessed or obtained using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth); and

  • Three counts of using a child under 14 years for the production of child abuse material, contrary to section 91G(1) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

The maximum penalty for these offences is 15 years' imprisonment.

The man appeared before Kempsey Local Court yesterday and did not make a bail application. Bail was formally refused and he is next due in court on 17 November 2021.

AFP Detective Sergeant Joel Wheeler said this arrest was another reminder of the commitment undertaken by the AFP to protect children and identify and prosecute anyone who seeks to exploit and harm them.

"Anyone who produces or shares child abuse material is part of the problem, it is they who create the market for child abuse material online, which causes further harm to our community's most vulnerable - our children," Detective Sergeant Wheeler 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

National Security Hotline

Read the AFP Annual Report 2019-20

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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