Victorian man to face court on child-abuse related offences

A 60-year-old man will face the Melbourne Magistrates' Court today (Friday 17 September 2021) accused of possessing child abuse material.

The Victorian Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (VIC JACET), comprising members from the Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police, launched its investigation after the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) identified hundreds of transactions on the man's account to the Philippines between March 2017 and July 2021.

The VIC JACET executed a search warrant on a Hurstbridge property on 10 August 2021, seizing an electronic device with child exploitation material for further analysis.

The man was arrested on 9 September 2021 and is due to face to Melbourne Magistrates' Court today charged with possessing child abuse material obtained using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth). This offence carries a maximum sentence of 15 years' imprisonment.

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 make a 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.

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The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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