Thu, 06 Aug 2020

Phillip Island man charged over alleged child abuse material offences

Australian Federal Police
31 Jul 2020, 16:04 GMT+10

A 42-year-old Phillip Island man accused of sharing child abuse material using a social media account will face court in Melbourne today (Friday 31 July, 2020).

The investigation launched after the Australian Federal Police's (AFP) Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received information from authorities in the United States in relation to alleged child exploitation offences committed by a resident in Victoria, Australia.

The Victorian Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (JACET), comprising of members from the AFP and Victoria Police (VICPOL), executed a search warrant at a Phillip Island property on Thursday 30 July, 2020.

The man was arrested at the property and a mobile phone was seized.

Police will allege in court the man used a social media application to share child exploitation material.

The accused was release on bail and will reappear in court today, charged with possessing child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage device section 474.22A(1)(a) of the Criminal Code (Cth).

The maximum penalty for this offences includes up to 15 years imprisonment.

AFP Acting Commander Investigations Southern Command Jayne Crossling said from 1 January to 30 June 2020 the AFP's Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received more than 11, 000 reports of child exploitation.

"The AFP is working around-the-clock with our international and domestic partners to bring to justice those who seek to do harm to our children," she said.

"If it takes a village to raise a child, advances in technology now means it takes a country to keep them safe. The AFP will never relinquish this duty."

The ACCCE is committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and is at the centre of a collaborative national approach to combatting organised child abuse.

The Centre brings together specialist expertise and skills in a central hub, supporting investigations into child sexual abuse and developing prevention strategies focused on creating a safer online environment.

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.

You can also make a report online by alerting the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation via the Report Abuse button.

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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