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Source: Australian Federal Police

A 24-year-old Melbourne man accused of sharing child abuse material online using a social media account is scheduled to face court in Melbourne today (09 October, 2020).

The man was arrested as part of an investigation launched after the Australian Federal Police-led (AFP) Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received information from United States authorities in relation to the alleged sharing of child exploitation material online.

The Victorian Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (JACET), comprising members from the AFP and Victoria Police (VICPOL), conducted an investigation and executed a search warrant on a central Melbourne CBD apartment yesterday, 8 October 2020.

The man was arrested at the apartment and a mobile phone was seized for further digital forensic analysis.

The accused was granted police bail and will appear before the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court this morning (09 October 2020) charged with:

  • One count of using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(iii) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • One count of using a carriage service to cause child abuse material to be transmitted contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(ii) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth); and
  • One count of possessing child abuse material obtained using a carriage service contrary to section 474.22A(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for these offences is 15 years’ imprisonment. 

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Sarah Fullerton said the appetite for child abuse material is increasing every day.

“The AFP is working side-by-side with our law enforcement partners to outsmart those lurking in the shadows, seeking and trading in these vile images that steal the innocence of their victims,” Detective Acting Superintendent Fullerton said.

“We are committed to tracking down these perpetrators targeting and exploiting vulnerable children, whether they are in Australia or overseas.”

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.

You can also make a report online by alerting the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation via the Report Abuse button at www.accce.gov.au/report

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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