Young South Australian woman accused of possessing child abuse material

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

A 19-year-old woman has been charged by the South Australia Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (SA JACET) with possessing child abuse material.

The teenager was arrested on Wednesday (15 January 2020) after investigators from the SA JACET – a partnership between the Australian Federal Police and South Australia Police’s Public Protection Branch – executed a search warrant at her family home in the State’s South-East.

An investigation was launched in June 2019 after a tip-off from the United States’ National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about a person allegedly uploading a video on social media of a child being sexually abused.

Investigators seized electronic devices when they searched the teenager’s home and a preliminary examination allegedly uncovered stored child abuse material.

The 19-year-old has been released on bail and is expected to face Naracoorte Magistrate’s Court on 27 March 2020 charged with:

  • Possession of child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for this offence is 15 years imprisonment.

AFP Acting Commander South Australia Gail McClure said while it is rare for a woman to be charged with this type of offence, it is a reminder that there is no single profile of a child sex offender and they can be of any age or gender and be found in a range of occupations.

“This case highlights the importance of the AFP’s strong partnerships, both locally and overseas, to prevent the spread of child abuse material. To anyone thinking of accessing or sharing child exploitation material, this is not a victimless crime,” Cmdr McClure said.

“Each of those images represents a real child being abused and that is heartbreaking. The AFP and its partners are dedicated to working together to keep children safe and pursue offenders who exploit children.”

Members of the public who have any information about people involved in child exploitation material are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Note to Media

CHILD ABUSE MATERIAL, NOT ‘CHILD PORNOGRAPHY’

Use of the phrase ‘child pornography’ actually benefits child sex abusers:

  • It indicates legitimacy and compliance on the part of the victim, and therefore legality on the part of the abuser;
  • It conjures up images of children posing in ‘provocative’ positions, rather than suffering horrific abuse.

Every photograph captures an actual situation where a child has been abused.  This is not pornography.

Media enquiries
AFP National Media: (02) 5126 9297

SA Police Media: (08) 7322 3848

National Security Hotline

Read the AFP Annual Report 2018-19

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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