NSW man charged with possessing child abuse material

A Tamworth man is expected to face court today (Wednesday, 18 August 2021) charged with child abuse-related offences following an Australian Federal Police (AFP) operation.

The investigation began 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 two internet protocol (IP) addresses allegedly accessing child exploitation material.

Investigators from AFP Eastern Command Child Protection Operations linked the two IP addresses to a 24-year-old Calala man.

Members of the AFP Eastern Command Child Protection Operations, with the assistance of the Eastern Command Geomatics team, executed search warrants at the man's home yesterday (Tuesday, 17 August 2021).

During the warrant a number of electronic storage devices were located and seized. A review of these devices identified the presence of child abuse material being shared amongst group chats on an online chat platform.

Police will allege the man was the administrator of several chat groups where child abuse material was being traded amongst members.

The man was arrested and charged with:

  • One aggravated offence of using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material on three or more separate occasions involving two or more people, contrary to section 474.24A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • One count of possessing or controlling child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • Six counts of using a carriage service to solicit child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(iV) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth); and
  • Three counts of 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 is 30 years' imprisonment.

Detective Sergeant Jarryd Dunbar said the AFP is committed to identifying and prosecuting alleged offenders, and protecting children who are being preyed on and harmed.

"The alleged role of the offender ensured he was positioned to facilitate the distribution of child abuse material to multiple people," he said.

"This not only contributes to the re-victimisation of the child victims depicted in the sexual abuse imagery, but also encourages and normalises the sharing of such material in online platforms.

"Such behaviour is reprehensible and simply unacceptable to the AFP and the Australian community."

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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The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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