Sydney man charged for child abuse material following INTERPOL tip-off

A 19-year-old Sydney man is due to appear before Sutherland Local Court today (11 February 2022) to face a range of serious child abuse charges following an Australian Federal Police investigation.

Investigators from the Eastern Command Child Protection Operations team executed a search warrant at the man’s home in Peakhurst yesterday (10 February 2022) following a referral from INTERPOL regarding the alleged online grooming of a child in Luxembourg.

During the search warrant police seized an Apple iPhone, a laptop computer and an iPad containing child abuse material. These devices will now be subject to further forensic testing.

The man was arrested at his home and subsequently charged with:

  • Use carriage service to transmit, makes available, publish, distribute or promote child abuse material contrary to section 22(1)(a)(iii) of the Criminal Code (Cth) – punishable by 15 years’ imprisonment;
  • Use carriage service to access child abuse material contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(i) of the Criminal Code (Cth) – publishable by 15 years’ imprisonment;
  • Use carriage service to solicit child abuse material contrary to section 422(1)(a)(iv) of the Criminal Code (Cth) – punishable by 15 years’ imprisonment;
  • Use carriage service to transmit, makes available, publish, distribute or promote child abuse material contrary to section 22(1)(a)(iii) of the Criminal Code (Cth) –punishable by 15 years’ imprisonment;
  • Possess or control child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service contrary to section 22A of the Criminal Code (Cth) – punishable by 15 years’ imprisonment;
  • Produce child abuse material contrary to section 91H(2) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) – punishable by 10 years’ imprisonment; and
  • Possess child abuse material contrary to section 91H(2) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) – punishable by 10 years’ imprisonment.

Detective Leading Senior Constable Amanda Thompson said the AFP works closely with partners around the world to stop those seeking to prey on children online and investigations into this matter remain ongoing.

“This is another example of how offenders use various social media platforms to groom and abuse children and target our community’s most vulnerable. Any website that allows users to interact freely with one another is a platform that offenders can use to groom children,” said Detective Leading Senior Constable Thompson.

Notes to media

Media are reminded of their obligations under s15A of the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987 (NSW) and s105 of the Children and Young Person (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW).

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

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

Read the AFP Annual Report 2020-21

Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation - visit website

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