Sydney man charged with possessing and transmitting child abuse material

hand holding handcuffs

Editor’s note: footage of the arrest and images of the items seized are available for download.

A 26-year-old man is due to appear before Hornsby Local Court today (3 March 2022) on two online child abuse-related charges following an Australian Federal Police investigation.

The investigation began in August 2021, when the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a referral from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about child abuse material being uploaded onto Dropbox.

The AFP’s Eastern Command Child Protection Operations executed a search warrant at the 26-year-old man’s Lower North Shore home yesterday (2 March 2022), with investigators seizing an Apple iPhone and iPad. Child abuse material was allegedly found on the digital devices, which will now be subject to further forensic examination.

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

  • Possess child abuse material, contrary to section 91H(2) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). The maximum penalty for this offence is 10 years’ imprisonment; and
  • Cause child abuse material to be transmitted to self using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(Ii) of the Criminal Code (Cth). The maximum penalty for this offence is 15 years’ imprisonment.

AFP Senior Constable Khali Sherer said anyone who viewed this material participated in the harming of a child, and helped to prop up an abhorrent industry that would abuse more children to fulfil demand.

“This arrest should serve as another warning to offenders: if you are thinking about accessing or sharing child exploitation material, you will be caught and prosecuted,” Senior Constable Sherer said.

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.

Notes 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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Read the AFP Annual Report 2020-21

Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation - visit website

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