South Australian man charged with online child abuse related offences

Child_Exploitation

A South Australian man, 30, is expected to appear in Berri Magistrate’s court today (4 October) in relation to alleged online grooming offences.

The man was allegedly conversing with a minor online and was arrested on 15 August 2022 at his Riverland home.

The investigation began December 2021 after the South Australian Joint Anti Child Exploitation Taskforce (SA JACET) – comprising of officers from the AFP and South Australia Police – received a report from ACT Policing about child abuse material.

Members of the SA JACET executed a search warrant on the man’s Riverland home on 15 August 2022 where they located and seized a mobile phone.

The man was charged with one count of using a carriage service to transmit indecent communication with a child, contrary to section 474.27A of the Criminal Code.

The maximum penalty for this offence is seven years' imprisonment.

AFP Detective Sergeant Joe Barry said the AFP, together with its state and territory law enforcement partners, remained committed to protecting our community's most vulnerable – our children.

"Our common goal is to protect children, wherever they live, and to ensure anyone who tries to harm them is identified and brought before the courts," he said.

The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation is driving a collaborative national approach to combatting child abuse.

The ACCCE brings together specialist expertise and skills in a central hub, supporting investigations into online child sexual exploitation 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.

Research conducted by the ACCCE in 2020 revealed only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety.

An award-winning podcast launched last year by the ACCCE 'Closing The Net' is working to change that, showcasing that knowledge is power and that our only chance to help prevent this issue is if we bring a 'whole-of-community' response.

The podcast series offers valuable tips and advice on how to keep kids safe online. Listen to the Closing The Net podcast on your favourite streaming platform.

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.

Media enquiries

AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297

Connect with the AFP: Follow our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube pages to learn more about what the AFP does to keep Australia safe.

If it doesn't add up, speak up. Call the National Security Hotline - 1800 123 400.

Read the AFP Annual Report 2021-22

Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation - visit website

Policing and community news from the AFP