Victorian man jailed for soliciting child abuse material

A 26-year-old Victorian man has been sentenced to five years' imprisonment for soliciting child abuse material from a Canadian child.

The investigation into the man's online activities began last year (2020) after the Australian Federal Police-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a report from law enforcement in Canada regarding an Australian social media user who was engaging in highly sexualised conversations with a 14-year-old girl.

Investigators from the Victoria Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET), which comprises AFP and Victoria Police officers, linked the Swan Hill man to the accounts.

A search warrant was executed at his home in Swan Hill in January 2020, where he was arrested and charged. A mobile device was seized and police uncovered evidence of further offending.

The man pleaded guilty in the Melbourne County Court in July 2021 to:

  • 36 counts of using a carriage service to solicit child pornography material, contrary to subsection 474.19(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth);
  • Eight counts of using a carriage service to cause child pornography material to be transmitted to self, contrary to subsection 474.19(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth);
  • Seven counts of using a carriage service to transmit indecent communication to a person believed to be under 16 years of age, contrary to subsection 474.27A(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth);
  • One count of using a carriage service to transmit child pornography material, contrary to subsection 474.19(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth);
  • One count of procure a child to engage in sexual activity outside Australia, contrary to subsection 272.14(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth);
  • One count of using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material, contrary to subsection 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth);
  • One count of using a carriage service to solicit child abuse material, contrary to subsection 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code (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 (Cth).

The man was yesterday (6 September 2021) sentenced at Melbourne County Court to five years' imprisonment with a non-parole period of two years.

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.

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The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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