Tue, 06 Dec 2022

South Australian man sentenced over child abuse material offences

Australian Federal Police
21 Nov 2022, 16:04 GMT+10

Editor note: Audio available via Hightail

A South Australian man,52, was sentenced (17 November, 2022) to prison after pleading guilty to possessing online child abuse material.

The South Australian Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (SA JACET) started an investigation after the AFP received a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding an online user who had uploaded 156 media files containing child abuse material to Google Photos and Google Drive.

Investigators from the SA JACET, which comprises AFP and South Australia Police officers, executed a search warrant on 21 April, 2021 at the man's Crystal Brook home.

Police found and examined a laptop, two computer towers and a mobile phone, along with a notebook containing handwritten passwords.

The man pleaded guilty to:

One count accessing material using a carriage service, the material being child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth), and One count possession or control of child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service contrary to Section 474.22A of the Criminal Code (Cth).

He was sentenced by the Port Augusta District Court to one year and four months' imprisonment.

AFP Detective Sergeant Joe Barry said the arrest was another reminder of the commitment from the AFP and its state, territory and international law enforcement partners to protect children and identify and prosecute anyone who sought to exploit and harm them.

"Our common goal is to protect children, wherever they live, and to ensure anyone who tries to harm them is identified and brought before the courts," he said.

The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation is driving a collaborative national approach to combatting child abuse.

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

Members of the public who have information about people involved in child abuse and exploitation are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or www.accce.gov.au/report. If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.

Research conducted by the ACCCE in 2020 revealed only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety.

An award-winning podcast launched last year by the ACCCE 'Closing The Net' is working to change that, showcasing that knowledge is power and that our only chance to help prevent this issue is if we bring a 'whole-of-community' response.

The podcast series offers valuable tips and advice on how to keep kids safe online. Listen to the Closing The Net podcast on your favourite streaming platform.

If you or someone you know are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available at www.accce.gov.au/support.

Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protect children online can be found at www.thinkuknow.org.au, 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 Media: (02) 5126 9297

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