WA man in court over alleged online child abuse offences

A 35-year-old man is expected to face Perth Magistrate's Court today (Saturday, 11 December 2021) charged with possessing child abuse and bestiality material.

The Canning Vale man was arrested by the Western Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET) yesterday (Friday) and refused police bail after a forensic review of his electronic devices allegedly revealed the stored illegal digital files.

WA JACET had collected four devices for forensic examination when they executed a warrant at the man's home in November and allegedly found one bestiality image.

The search was a result of an investigation launched after the Australian Federal Police Child Protection Triage Unit received reports about a person suspected to be in WA using social media to distribute child abuse material.

WA JACET, which comprises AFP and WA Police officers, allegedly linked the Canning Vale man to the social media accounts.

The man has been charged with:

  • Possession of child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A (1) of the Criminal Code (Cth).
  • Possession of obscene material, namely bestiality material, contrary to section 59 (5) of the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Enforcement Act 1996 (WA). The maximum penalty is a $5000 fine.

The maximum penalty for the CAM offence is 15 years' imprisonment.

AFP Detective Sergeant Ross Hinscliff said the AFP, together with WA Police and other partners, are committed to stopping abuse and exploitation.

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

Media enquiries:

  • AFP National Media: (02) 5126 9297
  • WA Police Force Media: (08) 9222 1011

If it doesn't add up, speak up. Call the National Security Hotline - 1800 123 400.

Read the AFP Annual Report 2020-21

Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation - visit website

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