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Source: Australian Federal Police

This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and Western Australia Police Force

A 41-year-old man who allegedly shared child abuse material online and wrote about his desires to sexually abuse young girls is expected to appear in Perth Magistrate’s Court today (18 November 2020).

The Western Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team arrested the Perth man last night (17 November 2020), after an investigation sparked by information from US Homeland Security Investigations. 

HSI alerted the Australian Federal Police (AFP) that a person suspected to be in Australia had shared images of children being sexually abused to an online child exploitation forum and wrote about wanting to sexually assault a young girl he knew.

Investigations by the AFP resulted in the identification of the 41-year-old man as the suspected user of the account.

WA JACET, which comprises AFP and WA Police Force officers, executed a search warrant at the man’s home yesterday evening.

They allegedly found details of online accounts associated with the alleged offending. 

Police seized three electronic devices, which will be forensically examined.

The man was charged with two counts of use a carriage service to transmit child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) and refused police bail. The offence carries a potential maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment.

AFP Detective Inspector Paula Fernandez said police acted swiftly to identify the alleged user of the account and protect any young children potentially at risk.

“We will continue to be relentless in our pursuit of anyone who is involved in the exploitation or abuse of children, online or elsewhere,” she 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.

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.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Media are reminded it is an offence to publish or broadcast details which may identify a victim of a sexual offence, including the age of the victim or how the offender had access to a child.

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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