Queensland man charged with possessing child abuse material

VISION OF THE ARREST AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD VIA HIGHTAIL

A 51-year-old man is expected to face Brisbane Magistrate’s Court today (Friday, 1 October 2021) charged with online child abuse-related offences by the Brisbane Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET).

The investigation began after the Australian Federal Police-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) discovered online conversations on the Telegram platform, in which a person discussed abusing children.

AFP investigators from the Brisbane JACET allegedly linked the Salisbury man to the Telegram account.

A search warrant was executed at the man's home in September 2021 with investigators seizing an iPhone 8 and a laptop. Police allegedly found child abuse material (CAM) on the mobile phone and in cloud-based apps.

Police also found stored online conversations in which the man allegedly discussed his sexual interest in children and shared CAM on numerous digital communication platforms.

The man was charged with:

  • One count of possessing child abuse material accessed or obtained using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);

  • One count of using a carriage service to access child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(i) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);

  • One count of transmitting child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(iii) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and

  • One count of using a carriage service to transmit indecent communication to a person under 16 years old, contrary to section 474.27A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

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

AFP Detective Superintendent Tim Puchala said the investigation demonstrates how law enforcement agencies across the world work together to protect our community’s most vulnerable.

“If you are accessing, sharing and uploading child abuse material, you are contributing to an abhorrent industry and you will be found and prosecuted,” Detective Superintendent Puchala said.

The 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.

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