Returning traveler charged with child abuse offence

A 64-year-old man is set to face Perth Magistrate's Court today after being charged by the Western Australian Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET) with a child abuse offence after returning from overseas.

The man was stopped by ABF officers at Perth Airport on 8 July 2021 after arriving from overseas. His electronic devices were examined by ABF officers who located images they believed to be child abuse material.

The devices were seized by ABF and the matter was referred to the AFP. The man was then placed into mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days.

Yesterday (Thursday 22 July 2021), members of the WA JACET arrested the man upon his release from hotel quarantine.

Police searched his belongings and seized two mobile phones and one laptop. These devices will be subject to further forensic examination to identify other instances of child abuse material or criminal conduct.

The man was charged with one count of procuring a child to engage in sexual activity outside of Australia, contrary to s272.14 of the Criminal Code (Cth).

It will be alleged in court that images on the man's electronic devices provided evidence that he had sexually abused a child in an Asian country.

AFP Detective Superintendent Graeme Marshall said the arrest demonstrated the commitment of the AFP to pursuing those who engage in crimes that abuse children in Australia and overseas.

“We will be relentless in our pursuit of anyone who is involved in the exploitation or abuse of children,” Detective Superintendent Marshall said.

“The AFP continues to work with our international law enforcement partners to remove children from the harm of child sexual exploitation and to reduce the incidence and impact of aggravated online child sexual exploitation”.

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 make a report online via the ACCCE.

If you or someone you know are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available, visit the ACCCE to learn more.

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

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Read the AFP Annual Report 2019-20

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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