A Perth-based Irish national will appear before the Perth Magistrates Court today (6 September, 2023) charged with two online offences of possessing and transmitting child abuse material.
The Western Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team, which comprises AFP and WA Police officers, charged the man, 25, last week (28 August, 2023) following a search warrant at his home in Thornlie.
Police allegedly identified the man during an investigation into a report from the United States’ Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) about a user uploading child abuse material online.
Investigators allegedly linked the person to the illegal online activity, including online chats talking about ‘incest’ and ‘loving littles’.
A search warrant was executed at the man’s home on 28 August, 2023, where investigators allegedly found child abuse material on a mobile phone. The device was seized, alongside drug paraphernalia, and will be subject to further forensic examination.
At the time of his arrest, the man was on bail for similar offences relating to alleged online child abuse.
AFP Detective Sergeant Karen Addiscott said the investigation highlighted how closely police around the world worked together to combat the exploitation and abuse of children.
“Anyone who views this material is committing a crime, and encouraging and enabling the abuse of children in the production of other abusive material,’’ D/ Sergeant Addiscott said.
“Our message to online offenders has not changed – if you possess and transmit child abuse material, you will be found, arrested and prosecuted.
“This is not a victimless crime. Children are not commodities to be used for the abhorrent gratification of sexual predators.”
The man was charged with:
- Possessing child abuse material accessed or obtained using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
- Transmitting child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22 (1)(a)(ii) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
The maximum penalty for each offence is 15 years’ imprisonment.
The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) 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 are urged to contact the ACCCE at www.accce.gov.au/report. If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.
If you or someone you know is impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation, support services are available at www.accce.gov.au/support.
Research conducted by the ACCCE in 2020 revealed only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety. 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.
For more information on the role of the ACCCE, what is online child sexual exploitation and how to report it visit www.accce.gov.au.
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.
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