Wed, 11 Dec 2019

Victorian man charged with child abuse offence

Australian Federal Police
11 Nov 2019, 16:04 GMT+10

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

A 59-year-old Victorian man accused of child abuse offences appeared before the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Friday (8 November) after being charged by the Victorian Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (VIC-JACET).

On Thursday (7 November 2019) the Australian Border Force (ABF) stopped a man on suspicion of child abuse offences.

ABF officers conducted an examination of the man's bags and personal electronic devices. A number of conversations were located on the man's mobile phone which authorities will allege shows him engaged in sexualised conversation including asking for ages of girls. The matter was referred to the AFP.

Australian Federal Police (AFP) Aviation members arrested and charged the man with procuring a child to engage in sexual activity outside of Australia, before handing the matter over to the VIC-JACET.

On Friday (8 November) AFP officers executed a search warrant on the man's Barnawartha residence where electronic devices were located containing videos of the man allegedly engaging in sexual activity with female Filipino children.

The maximum penalty for this offence is 15 years' imprisonment.

The man appeared before the Melbourne Magistrates' Court and was remanded in custody to reappear on 28 February 2020.

AFP acting Manager Child Protection, Marina Simoncini, said this arrest highlights the importance of a coordinated response to detect the transnational abuse of children.

"Sadly there is an appetite for the abuse of vulnerable children by Australian citizens which has devastating impacts.

"The AFP will continue to work collaboratively with our partners here and overseas to target the producers and distributors of child abuse material, who are contributing to an abhorrent industry harming the most vulnerable in our communities," acting Manager Simoncini said.

Victoria Police JACET manager Detective Acting Inspector Karen Bennett described the considerable effects these crimes have on children, their families and the wider community.

"These crimes see people using significant established networks to share child abuse material and take advantage of vulnerable children. They have devastating impacts for victims and the wider community."

"Victoria Police will continue working closely with partner agencies to address this considerable issue both in Australia and overseas.

We will continue to develop and employ various investigative techniques which allow us to target people actively grooming and attempting to procure children, and accessing child abuse material," Detective Acting Inspector Bennett said.

The VIC-JACET comprises officers from the Australian Federal Police and the Victoria Police.

The Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Teams across the country are Australia's frontline in tackling, disrupting and prosecuting this insidious industry that causes significant harm to the most vulnerable in our community - our children.

The JACET model was officially launched in Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory last week, finalising the roll-out of the initiative in every State and Territory across the country.

Members of the community who have information about persons involved in child abuse material are urged to report their suspicions through the 'Report Child Abuse' link of the AFP website, via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or the social media provider (such as Twitter, Facebook etc).

Note to media: USE OF TERMS 'CHILD ABUSE' or 'CHILD EXPLOITATION', NOT 'CHILD PORNOGRAPHY'

Use of the phrase "child pornography" 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 captures an actual situation where a child has been abused. This is not "pornography".

Media enquiries:

Victoria Police Media (03) 9247 5205

AFP National Media (02) 5126 9297

Subscribe and receive email alerts (link: https://www.afp.gov.au/news-media/media-releases) when new media releases are published.

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