Wed, 08 Dec 2021

Queensland man charged with possessing child abuse material

Australian Federal Police
24 Nov 2021, 16:04 GMT+10

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A 35-year-old Sunshine Coast man is expected to face Maroochydore Magistrates Court today (Wednesday, 24 November, 2021) charged with online child abuse-related offences by the Australian Federal Police.

Police arrested and charged the man yesterday (23 November) after executing a search warrant at his home and allegedly finding child abuse material on two mobile phones.

The search was the result of an investigation which began after the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding child abuse material being transmitted from a Kik social media account.

Investigators from the AFP's Brisbane Child Protection Operations team identified a 35-year-old Buderim man as the alleged user of the account.

The two mobile phones seized by police will be subject to further forensic examination.

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Kurt Wesche said the charges demonstrated the AFP's commitment to investigate and prosecute anyone believed to be involved in child exploitation and sexual abuse.

"This work is gut-wrenching, but our investigators are relentless in their pursuit of anyone sharing or accessing child abuse material, and they will follow up any information to bring these people to justice," Det. a/Supt Wesche said.

The man was refused watch house bail yesterday and he is scheduled to face Maroochydore Magistrates Court today charged with:

Accessing child abuse material using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code Act 1995(Cth); and Possessing child abuse material accessed or obtained using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995(Cth).

The maximum penalty for both offences is 15 years' imprisonment.

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 or report online.

If you or someone you know are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available.

Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protect children online can be found at ThinkUKnow, 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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