Queensland man charged with distributing child abuse material on Instagram

Child_Exploitation

Editor's note: Vision from this arrest investigation can be downloaded via Hightail 

A 55-year-old Queensland man is scheduled to face Caboolture Magistrates Court today (Friday, 3 September 2021) charged with child abuse material offences following an Australian Federal Police investigation.

The investigation began in July 2021 following reports from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in the United States to the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) about the alleged uploading of child abuse material to Instagram.

AFP Child Protection investigators linked a 55-year-old man from the Moreton Bay Region of Queensland to the account that allegedly uploaded the child abuse material online.

AFP officers executed a search warrant at the man’s home in Deception Bay yesterday (Thursday, 2 September 2021) where they searched the property with assistance from AFP Canine Capability.

Four mobile phones were seized during this activity. AFP Forensic specialists examined the mobile phones, which were found to contain child abuse material and account details allegedly linked to the Instagram account where the child abuse material was uploaded.

The man was arrested and charged with possessing child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, using a carriage service to access child abuse material and using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material. The maximum penalty for these offences is 15 years' imprisonment.

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Tim Puchala said accessing and distributing child abuse material fuels an industry profiting off the trauma inflicted on the most innocent and vulnerable in our society.

“There is a real child behind every photo or video distributed online. That child has been placed in the most horrific situation and is not just an image on a screen,” Det. A/Supt. Puchala said.

“Child Protection investigators will look into every report of child sexual abuse to stop the exploitation of children and bring to justice the people contributing to this abhorrent industry.”

The AFP-led 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

National Security Hotline

Read the AFP Annual Report 2020-21

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

Platypus Online: Read. Discover. Enjoy.