Newcastle man charged for allegedly producing child abuse material

Child_Exploitation

A Newcastle man is due to appear before Newcastle Local Court today after Australian Federal Police investigators charged him for allegedly producing child abuse material with a child known to him and uploading the footage to an online chat platform.

Investigators from the Eastern Command Child Protection Operations team executed a search warrant at the man's Shortland home yesterday (30 September 2021) after receiving a report from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children on 27 September 2021. The report identified a Kik user who was uploading child abuse material to the platform.

Enquiries by police linked a 24-year-old man to the social media account, and he was arrested at his home yesterday. Investigators seized three mobile phones during the warrant that will be subject to further forensic examination.

The child allegedly depicted in the material has been identified and is safe. Police are providing support to the victim and their family.

The man was charged with:

  • Five counts of producing child abuse material, contrary to section 91H(2) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).
  • Two counts of possessing of controlling child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).
  • Using a carriage service to access child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(i) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).
  • Using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(iii) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for these offences are 10 and 15 years imprisonment.

AFP acting Sergeant Damian Mair said when a child is in danger, or an extreme risk of abuse, investigators will do everything they can to quickly identify the victim and remove them from harm.

"Our child protection investigators across the country are always ready to focus their efforts to cases where we have information that a child is at immediate risk of being abused by an adult," acting Sergeant Mair said.

"When a child has been abused, our priority is to get them out of a dangerous situation, prevent an offender from committing more abuse, and then bring that person to account for their deplorable criminal acts."

Editors note:

Media are reminded of their obligations under s15A of the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987 (NSW) and s105 of the Children and Young Person (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW).

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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