WA man, 58, in court for online child abuse offences

Child_Exploitation

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

A 58-year-old Western Australian man is expected to appear in Busselton Magistrate’s Court today (13 April 2021) on charges of accessing and possessing child abuse material.

The man was charged last month (2 March 2021) following an investigation that started when the Australian Federal Police-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a report from the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding an online user uploading child abuse material to Facebook and Yahoo. 

Investigators from the WA Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (WA JACET) – which comprises AFP and WA Police Force members - allegedly linked the man, from Margaret River, to the accounts uploading the content. 

On 2 March officers executed a search warrant at the man’s home and allegedly found a quantity of child abuse material on electronic devices. 

The 58-year-old was charged with: 

  • Using a carriage service to access child abuse material, contrary to sections 474.19 and 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • Possession of child abuse material obtained using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). 

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

AFP Acting Inspector Joel Van Den Brun said this case is a reminder that the AFP is working closely with international partners to combat the exploitation and abuse of children, including the online transmission of footage and photographs of these crimes. 

“Anyone who accesses or shares this material is complicit in the physical abuse of children and we are committed to identifying them and bringing them before the courts,” Acting Inspector Van Den Brun said.

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.

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 

AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297 

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Read the AFP Annual Report 2019-20

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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