Perth man charged with allegedly abusing children overseas


A man, 71, will face Perth Magistrate's Court today (5 January, 2023) charged with five child abuse offences including allegedly abusing children in the Philippines.

The investigation began on 22 November 2022 after Australian Border Force (ABF) officers stopped the man when he arrived on a flight at Perth International Airport from the Philippines.

During an examination, ABF officers allegedly found child sexual abuse material on his laptop, and the matter was then referred to the Western Australian Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET) for further investigation.

JACET investigators, with assistance from the ABF, executed a search warrant at the man’s Fremantle home on 28 November 2022.

The WA man was arrested and charged, and officers also seized a number of electronic devices which are subject to further forensic examination.

AFP Acting Sergeant Kevin Shaw said child sex offenders were not restricted by national or international borders – but neither were law enforcement agencies.

“WA JACET officers are working with international law enforcement partners to identify the children targeted, to check on their welfare and provide support,” Acting Sergeant Shaw said.

ABF Commander James Copeman praised the critical detection work ABF officers conducted at the border, which enabled the subsequent investigation to occur and charges to be laid.

“The ABF and the AFP work together in lockstep on this and other critical issues and will stop at nothing to protect the Australian community from this type of abhorrent crime,” Commander Copeman said.

The man has been charged with:

  • One count of engaging in sexual intercourse with a child, the child being under 16 years of age and the sexual intercourse having been engaged in outside Australia, namely in the Philippines, contrary to section 272.8(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for this offence is 30 years’ imprisonment;
  • Two counts of engaging in persistent sexual abuse of a child outside Australia by committing offences against section 272.8(2) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth) on two or more occasions in relation to the same child, contrary to section 272.11(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for this offence is 25 years’ imprisonment;
  • One count of using a carriage service to access child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(i) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for this offence is 15 years’ imprisonment; and
  • One count of transmitting child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(iii) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for this offence is 15 years’ imprisonment

 WA JACET comprises of officers from the AFP and the Western Australia Police Force.

The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) 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 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 in 2021 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

Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protect children online can be found at, an AFP-led education program designed to prevent online child sexual exploitation.

Note to media:


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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