WA man, 42, charged with online child abuse offences

Child_Exploitation

This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and Western Australia Police Force.

A 42-year-old man has been charged by the Western Australia Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (WA JACET) with allegedly possessing and transmitting child abuse material.

The man was arrested on Wednesday (1 September 2021) when WA JACET executed a warrant at his Nollamara home and allegedly found content on his mobile telephone that included photographs and videos of young children being sexually abused.

He was refused police bail and faced Perth Magistrates Court on Wednesday afternoon, where the matter was adjourned until 24 September (2021).

WA JACET, which comprises Australian Federal Police and WA Police Force officers, launched an investigation after the United States' National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) reported abusive content being uploaded to a social media platform.

AFP enquiries identified the 42-year-old man as the alleged user of the account, resulting in yesterday's warrant.

The man has been charged with:

  • Possessing child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • Using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(iii) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for these offences is 15 years' imprisonment.

 AFP Acting Inspector Peter Brindal said this arrest is another reminder of the commitment undertaken by the AFP and its partners to protect children, and identify and prosecute anyone who seeks to exploit and harm them.

"Anyone who views or shares this material is harming a child, and helping to prop up a vile industry that will abuse more children to satisfy the demand," he said.

"Next week is National Child Protection Week and we are again appealing for help from parents and carers to keep children safe online. 

"Please talk to children about what platforms, apps and games they are using and remind them never to reveal personal information to any 'friends' they meet online." 

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.

You can also make a report online by alerting the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation via the Report Abuse button.

If you or someone you know are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available, visit the ACCCE to learn more.

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.

Editor's note

Media are reminded it is an offence to publish or broadcast details which may identify a victim of a sexual offence, including the age of the victim or how the offender had access to a child.

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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AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297

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