WA man charged with five online child abuse offenses

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This is a joint publication between the Australian Federal Police and Western Australian Police.

A 20-year-old man is due to appear in court in Perth today (July 15, 2022) after being charged by the Western Australia Joint Child Exploitation Team (WA JACET).

The Attadale man was charged with five offenses including possession and sharing of child pornography and other obscene content.

An investigation has been launched after the AFP-run Australian Center for Combating Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a report from the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding the downloading child pornography on an online chat platform.

Police reportedly linked the Attadale man to illegal online activity.

A search warrant was executed at his home on June 30 (2022) and investigators reportedly found child pornography and other evidence on electronic devices. Digital devices will now be subject to greater forensic scrutiny.

AFP Senior Officer Kevin Shaw of WA JACET said AFP, together with its partners, remained committed to protecting children.

“Anyone viewing this material is committing a crime,” Senior Constable Shaw said. “Children are not commodities to be used for the heinous gratification of sexual predators.

“Our message to online offenders has not changed – if you acquire, access and transmit child pornography, you will be identified and prosecuted.”

The man is due to appear in Perth Magistrates Court to:

  • Possessing child pornography accessible or obtained using a transportation service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995(Cth);
  • Two counts of transmitting child pornography, contrary to section 474.22(1)(iii) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • Using a carrier service to access child pornography, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(i) of the Criminal Code Act 1995(Cth); and
  • Possessing obscene material, contrary to section 59(5) of the Classification Enforcement (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1996 WA.

The maximum penalty for online child abuse offenses is 15 years in prison, while the penalty for possession of obscene material is $5,000.

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.

A study conducted 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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