Tasmanian man jailed for multiple child abuse material offences

Child_Exploitation

A Devonport man has been sentenced to 5 years’ imprisonment for accessing, sharing and possessing child abuse material.

The man, 22, was sentenced on Friday 7 October in the Supreme Court of Tasmania after he pled guilty to six child abuse material charges.

The investigation began in July 2021, when the AFP-led Australian Centre to Combat Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which identified an online user uploading child abuse material to an internet chatroom.

AFP investigators linked the man to the same IP address used to upload the files.

A search warrant was executed at the man’s home in August 2021, with investigators seizing a phone containing child abuse material.

The man was arrested and charged with:

  • Two counts of using a carriage service to access child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995(Cth);
  • One count of using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material, contrary to subsection 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995(Cth);
  • Two counts of using a carriage service to solicit child abuse material, contrary to subsection 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995(Cth); and
  • One count of possessing or controlling child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to subsection 474.22A(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995(Cth).

AFP Detective Sergeant Aaron Hardcastle said the charges demonstrated the AFP's commitment to investigate and charge offenders believed to be involved in child exploitation and sexual abuse.

“The AFP has the expertise and technical capabilities to detect and investigate offenders involved in the harm of our most vulnerable people, our children. No matter whether or not you have come to our attention in the past, the AFP is unwavering in its mission to identify and prosecute any person seeking to engage in this heinous crime for their own perverse sexual gratification.”

The man has been sentenced to 5 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 2 years and 6 months in relation to these charges. 

The man was imprisoned for one year and five months on separate child abuse material charges in 2020. He was released from jail in May 2021.

The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the ACCCE 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.

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Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation - visit website

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