Police use Carly’s Law for the first time

This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and South Australia Police.

A 35-year-old man from the north-eastern suburbs of Adelaide is scheduled to appear in Mount Gambier Court House today, charged with a raft of child sexual exploitation offences.

The man, a convicted child sex offender, is the first person ever to be charged with an offence under Carly’s Law. Police will allege in court he lied about his age and gender to groom children for sexual activity.

Yesterday, police charged him with using a carriage service to prepare or plan to cause harm to, engage in sexual activity with, or procure for sexual activity, persons under 16, contrary to section 474.25C of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). He faces 10 years’ imprisonment if convicted on this charge alone.

He was also charged yesterday with one count of using a carriage service to ‘groom’ persons under 16 years of age, contrary to section 474.27 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

These charges followed activity conducted by the South Australian Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (SA JACET) on Tuesday, 25 July 2017. Police executed three search warrants, where they seized two mobile phones and one laptop computer.

At this time, the man was remanded in custody. He was charged with accessing, possessing and transmitting child exploitation material under Commonwealth legislation, and breaching reporting obligations under South Australian state legislation.

The man is now facing a total of 14 charges related to child exploitation.

Carly’s Law was born out of the tragic murder of 15-year-old schoolgirl Carly Ryan in 2007. Carly was the first Australian to be killed as a result of being groomed online. She was targeted by a 50-year-old paedophile, who lied about his age to lure her to a meeting.

Carly’s Law was passed in Federal Parliament on 16 June 2017.

Australian Federal Police Commander Lesa Gale, Manager Victim Based Crime, said the new legislation was fundamental to police being able to prevent crime and protect children from harm.

"We are unwavering in our commitment to take all necessary action to protect children from sexual exploitation," Commander Gale said.

"I must acknowledge Carly’s mother, Sonya Ryan, who has endured the ultimate pain of losing a child at the hands of an online predator.

"Sonya campaigned tirelessly for a law that would give police more power to intervene before a predator has a chance to act. Yesterday, we used this new law to, potentially, save a life."

The SA JACET brings together the expertise and resources of the Australian Federal Police’s Child Protection Operations members with South Australia Police’s Special Crime Investigations Branch.

Please note, there are strict non-publication rules regarding the name of a registerable person under the Child Sex Offenders Registration Act 2006.

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AFP National Media: (02) 6131 6333

SA Police: (08) 7322 3848

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The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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