South Australian man charged with possessing child abuse material

Child_Exploitation

This is a joint media release between Australian Federal Police and South Australia Police

An Adelaide man is expected to face court today (Thursday, 30 September 2021), charged with child abuse-related offences by the South Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (SA JACET).

An investigation began after the Australian Federal Police-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about child abuse material (CAM) being uploaded to the Discord and Yahoo platforms.

Enquiries by SA JACET, which comprises AFP and South Australia Police officers, allegedly led to the identification of a 34-year-old man.

A search warrant was executed at the man's home in August 2021, with investigators seizing a number of electronic devices which allegedly contained CAM. The devices were seized for further digital forensic examination.

The 34-year-old man is expected to appear in Elizabeth Magistrates Court today (30 September 2021) 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).

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

AFP Detective Superintendent Gail McClure said investigators are relentless in their efforts to bring alleged perpetrators of child sexual exploitation before the courts.

"This work is heartbreaking and horrendous; children are being re-victimised every time someone accesses or shares images or videos of children being abused," Detective Superintendent McClure said.

"Anyone who uploads or views this material is harming a child, and helping to prop up a vile industry that will abuse more children to satisfy the demand."

SA Police Detective Superintendent James Blandford said the powerful and close working relationship JACET creates between law enforcement agencies, and the sharing of knowledge, skills and resources reduces the impact of harm to children.

"This harm is created by selfish individuals creating, distributing and accessing CAM. Offenders involved with CAM are abusing children and causing trauma to them no matter what part they play in the process," said Detective Superintendent Blandford.

"Child abuse in all of its grotesque forms is totally unacceptable behaviour. The law and our community expectations to stamp out this vile trade is clearly evident and unwavering."

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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The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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