WA man charged with possessing child abuse material

Child_Exploitation

A 37-year-old South Perth man is due to appear in Perth Magistrate's Court today (19 November 2021) after police found child abuse material on two mobile phones allegedly belonging to him.

The man was charged on 26 October 2021 after the Australian Federal Police-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation received a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The United States' organisation reported an online user in Australia was uploading child abuse material to the Google Drive platform.

Enquiries by the ACCCE and the Western Australia Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (WA JACET) allegedly linked the 37-year-old man to the account.

A search warrant was executed at the man's home on 26 October 2021 where investigators seized the two mobile phones containing child abuse material, two firearms and a small quantity of cannabis.

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 Act 1995 (Cth).

The offence carries a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment.

The seized electronic devices will be subject to forensic examination and further charges have not been ruled out.

AFP Detective Sergeant Ross Hinscliff said viewing, downloading or sharing child abuse material was not a victimless crime.

"This material depicts the horrific abuse of children, our most vulnerable members of society. Consuming this material endorses this harm and the AFP is committed to identifying and prosecuting anyone involved in this vile industry – including the producers, sellers and consumers," Detective Sergeant Hinscliff 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.

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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Read the AFP Annual Report 2020-21

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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