Perth man charged with possession of child abuse material

Child_Exploitation

Editor’s note: audio grabs from AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Andrea Coleman available here

A 21-year-old man is expected to face Perth Magistrates Court today (20 May 2022) charged by the Western Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET) with possession of child abuse material.

The man was charged on 28 April 2022 after officers searched his home in a southern Perth suburb and allegedly found child abuse material on a number of electronic devices.

The arrest was the result of an investigation launched after the AFP received a report from the United States’ National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The report identified that an online user based in Australia was uploading child abuse material to the MEGA Platform. Investigators allegedly linked the 21-year-old to the account.

WA JACET, which comprises AFP and WA Police, seized two mobile phones and a laptop during a search at the man's home. The devices were examined, and child abuse material was allegedly found within the storage applications of one of mobile phones and the laptop.

The man was charged with two counts of possessing child abuse material accessed or obtained using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for this offence is 15 years' imprisonment.

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Andrea Coleman said children recorded being abused in videos and images were re-victimised every time someone downloaded or shared that file. 

“This investigation shows that the AFP and our international counterparts are working closely to tackle the rising global issue of child abuse material,” Detective Acting Superintendent Coleman said. 

The AFP is urging the public to help it solve cold case child abuse investigations through its Stop Child Abuse – Trace an Object initiative.

The smallest clue can often help solve a case. The world-leading initiative, is centred on the publishing of non-confrontational images that can be seen in child exploitation online material such as pieces of clothing or bedding.

Australian investigators believe the images are linked to victims in the Asia Pacific Region, including Australia, and are calling on the community to view the images and make a report at the ACCCE website.

The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the ACCCE is at the centre of a collaborative national approach.

The ACCCE 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 know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.

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

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If it doesn't add up, speak up. Call the National Security Hotline - 1800 123 400.

Read the AFP Annual Report 2020-21

Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation - visit website

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