Victorian man charged with allegedly possessing and transmitting child abuse material

Two forensic specialists examining a computer

A 48-year-old man is expected to face Melbourne Magistrates Court today (5 November 2021) charged with child abuse-related offences by the Victoria Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET).

The Victorian man was arrested last week (29 October) as a result of an investigation launched when 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).

The report detailed a Kik user who was transmitting child abuse material on the platform.

Investigators from Victoria JACET, which comprises AFP and Victoria Police officers, allegedly linked the St Kilda man to the email address and mobile phone number associated with the account.

A search warrant was executed at the man's home on 29 October and investigators seized two mobile phones, a laptop and several USB storage devices.

Police allegedly found child abuse material on some of the digital devices and they will now be subject to further forensic examination.

The man was arrested and charged with:

  • Possessing child abuse material accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)
  • Transmitting child abuse material using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(iii) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)

The maximum penalty for these offences is 15 years' imprisonment. Further charges have not been ruled out.

AFP Senior Constable Mark Sharer said the AFP never wavers in its commitment to investigate and charge people allegedly involved the exploitation or sexual abuse of children.

"This work can be gut-wrenching, but our investigators are relentless in their pursuit of anyone producing, accessing or sharing child abuse material, and they will follow up any information to bring these people to justice," Senior Constable Sharer said.

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.

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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