Northern Territory man jailed for 39 online child abuse offenses

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A Katherine man has been sentenced to three years and nine months in prison for multiple offenses relating to online child abuse.

The man, 30, was sentenced today (17 October 2022) by the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory after previously pleading guilty to 39 charges relating to child abuse.

The investigation began in December 2021 when the AFP-run Australian Center for Combating Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received information from the United States about an online user uploading child pornography to the Discord platform.

Investigators from the Joint Child Exploitation Team of the Northern Territory (JACET), which includes officers from AFP and Northern Territory Police, have linked the man to the associated Discord account via Internet Protocol (IP) records.

The man pleaded guilty on October 14, 2022 to:

  • 11 counts of using a transportation service to solicit child pornography, contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • 12 counts of using a carrier service to transmit child pornography, contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • Five counts of using a carrier service to cause child pornography to be transmitted to oneself, contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • Two counts of using a transport service to recruit a person believed to be under 16, contrary to section 474.26 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • Six counts of using a transport service to groom a person suspected of being under 16, contrary to section 474.27 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • One count of using a transportation service to transmit an indecent communication to a person believed to be under 16, contrary to Section 474.27A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) ;
  • One count of using a transport service to plan to cause harm to a person under the age of 16, contrary to section 474.25C of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
  • One count of possession of child pornography, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

Acting Superintendent Malcolm Bickford said AFP investigators were relentless in their pursuit of anyone sharing or accessing child pornography material.

“This investigation should serve as a wake-up call that we are committed to addressing child sexual abuse and bringing those who commit these offenses to justice,” Acting Superintendent Bickford said.

“We are also asking the community to help us ensure that we are effective in identifying victims and perpetrators.

“If you have any information that would assist law enforcement, please contact the ACCCE at https://www.accce.gov.au/report.”

AFP and its partners are committed to ending the exploitation and abuse of children and the ACCCE is leading a collaborative national approach to address child abuse.

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

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

Research by the ACCCE in 2020 found that only about half of parents talk to their children about online safety.

An award-winning podcast launched last year by the ACCCE “Closing The Net” strives to change that, showing that knowledge is power and that our only chance to help prevent this problem is to provide an answer” to the whole community”. .

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

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

Advice and support for parents and guardians on how they can help protect children online is available at www.thinkuknow.org.au, an educational program run by AFP and designed to prevent sexual exploitation children online.

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