Tasmanian man jailed on remote child abuse charges

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A Tasmanian man has been jailed for three years and six months after appearing in the Supreme Court of Tasmania yesterday (10 November 2022) for online child pornography and child sex pimping offences.

The 64-year-old was sentenced to three years and six months in prison following an investigation by the Tasmanian Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (TAS JACET).

Following an extensive international investigation, 13 victims were removed from danger and an alleged facilitator was arrested in the Philippines.

The investigation began on October 14, 2019, when the man arrived at Melbourne Airport on a flight from Doha, Qatar.

Upon entering Australia, the man was stopped by the Australian Border Force (ABF) for a routine check, before officers identified images depicting child pornography material on his mobile phone.

The following day (October 15, 2019), Tasmania’s JACET executed a search warrant at the man’s home, with investigators locating additional child abuse material on two mobile phones.

Additionally, online messages were found between the man and a foreign facilitator who organized and sent live videos of children engaging in sexually explicit and abusive acts.

AFP Detective Sergeant Aaron Hardcastle praised the efforts of investigators during an intense and gruesome investigation.

“The result of this prosecution demonstrates AFP’s investigative capabilities and networks.”

“Working with our national and international partners, we will stop at nothing to ensure that victims are rescued and those who engage in the despicable exploitation of a child are brought to justice.”

AFP’s senior officer in Manila, Detective Superintendent Andrew Perkins, said the international investigation demonstrated the importance of cross-border collaboration in ending child abuse.

“This highlights the effectiveness of the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Center (PICACC) and the commitment of the Australian Federal Police, Philippine authorities and PICACC partner agencies in leading a collaborative response to combat the child exploitation and protect children wherever they live,” Detective Superintendent Perkins said.

“The protection of children is our priority and it is gratifying to be able to assist the Philippine authorities in this investigation which led to the interruption of a facilitator in the Philippines and the removal of 13 children from danger.”

“Today’s sentencing sends a strong message that if you participate in this despicable industry, you will be prosecuted and spend a lot of time behind bars.”

The man pleaded guilty to the following charges:

  • Procuring a child to engage in sexual activity outside Australia contrary to section 272.14 of the Penal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • Possessing child pornography accessible or obtained using a transportation service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • Using a carrier service to access child pornography, contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)
  • Importing objectionable material contrary to Rule 4A of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956.

The man was sentenced to three years and six months in prison, with a period without parole of 18 months.

AFP and its partners are committed to ending child exploitation and abuse and the Australian Center for Combating Child Exploitation is leading a collaborative national approach to tackle 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 close the net podcast on your favorite streaming platform.

If you or someone you know is affected by child sexual abuse and online 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 can be found at www.thinkuknow.org.auan education program run by AFP and designed to prevent online child sexual exploitation.

Note to media:

Use of the term ‘CHILD ABUSE’ MATERIAL AND NOT ‘CHILD PORNOGRAPHY’

The correct legal term is Child Abuse Material – the move to this wording was part of amendments to Commonwealth legislation in 2019 to more accurately reflect the seriousness of the crimes and the harm inflicted on victims.

The use of the term “child pornography” is inaccurate and benefits child sex offenders because it:

  • indicates legitimacy and compliance on the part of the victim and therefore legality on the part of the aggressor; and
  • conjures up images of children posing in “provocative” positions, rather than suffering horrific abuse.

Each photograph or video captures a real situation where a child has been abused.

Media inquiries

AFP media: (02) 5126 9297

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