Queensland man charged over alleged online child abuse offences

Child_Exploitation

Editor’s note: Audio grabs of Detective Acting Superintendent Child Protection Operations Mary Bolton are available via Hightail.

A 54-year-old man, charged with possessing child abuse material, is due to appear in Beenleigh Magistrates Court today (27 May 2022).

The AFP’s Brisbane Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team, charged the man on 26 May 2022 after allegedly finding files containing child abuse material on a mobile phone and hard drive at the man’s residence in Woodridge.

The investigation was launched after the man was allegedly linked to text messages exchanging child abuse material with another man.

Officers executed a warrant at the man’s residence where he was later arrested and charged with child abuse material offences.

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Child Protection Operations Mary Bolton said the AFP work diligently to chase down every lead when investigating people sharing material that depicts the abuse of children.

“Our officers are meticulous investigators and will pursue every line of enquiry if it means bringing these people to justice,” she said.

“People who share this kind of material have no regard for the suffering of victims of child abuse, which is why the AFP will never stop in our efforts to protect children online.”

The man has been charged with one count of using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material and one count of possessing child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service.

The maximum penalty for these offences is 15 years’ imprisonment.

The AFP is also 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 www.accce.gov.au/trace.

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 to combatting child abuse.

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 information about people involved in child abuse and exploitation are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or www.accce.gov.au/report. 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 at www.accce.gov.au/support.

Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protect children online can be found at www.thinkuknow.org.au, 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.

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Read the AFP Annual Report 2020-21

Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation - visit website

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