South Australian man charged with three online child abuse related offences

Child_Exploitation

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

Editor’s note: Audio grabs from AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Ben Moses quote via Hightail

A 19-year-old man is expected to face Adelaide Magistrates Court today (11 May 2022) charged by the South Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET) with accessing and sharing child abuse material online.

The man was charged on 1 March 2022 after officers searched his home in SA’s Fleurieu Peninsula and allegedly found child abuse material on a number of electronic devices.

The arrest was the result of an investigation launched after the AFP received a referral from the United States’ National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

SA JACET, which comprises AFP and SA Police officers, seized multiple electronic devices during the search at the man's home and these will be subject to further forensic examination.

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Ben Moses said anyone who viewed this material was participating in the harming of a child, and helped to prop up an abhorrent industry that would abuse more children to meet demand.

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

SA Police Special Crime Investigation Section, Detective Chief Inspector Richard Lambert said the arrest was a result of police agencies working together and should be a warning to people who chose to be actively involved in child exploitation, that law enforcement was continually working together every single day, to detect and apprehend offenders. 

“If you continue to be involved in child exploitation, expect to experience a life changing moment when you are detected and arrested by authorities,” he said.

 The man was charged with:

  • using a carriage service to access child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth); and
  • possessing or controlling child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

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

The AFP is 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 the ACCCE website.

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.

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 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 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.

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

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Read the AFP Annual Report 2020-21

Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation - visit website

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