A 23-year-old Illawarra man is due to appear before Port Kembla Local Court today (12 January 2022) after Australian Federal Police investigators charged him with possessing child abuse material.
Investigators from the Eastern Command Child Protection Operations team executed a search warrant at the man's Albion Park home on 18 November 2021, after receiving a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).
The report from NCMEC linked a Kik user to a number of media files on the platform that allegedly contained child abuse material.
Police enquiries linked the social media account to a 23-year-old man residing in Albion Park.
During the search warrant, investigators seized a mobile phone that is subject to further forensic examination and arrested the man.
He was charged with one count of possessing child abuse material, contrary to section 91H(2) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). The maximum penalty for this offence is 10 years' imprisonment.
AFP Acting Sergeant Adam Barcham said anyone who views this material is participating in the harming of a child, and helping to prop up an abhorrent industry that will abuse more children to fulfil demand.
"This arrest should serve as another warning to the offenders: if you are thinking about accessing or sharing child exploitation material, you will be caught and prosecuted," a/Sgt Adam Barcham said.
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 protection 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.
AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297