MIL-OSI Australia: Regional Victorian man charged with possessing child abuse material

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Source: Australian Federal Police

A 30-year-old Ballarat man is due to face Melbourne Magistrates Court today (16 April 2021) following an Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigation into an online user uploading child abuse material.

The Victorian Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (Vic JACET) investigation began in January after the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received several reports from the United States National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding a Google account uploading a number of videos containing child abuse material to social media and sharing platforms.

It will be alleged that through Police inquiries the 30-year-old man was linked to the Google account and a warrant was executed at his Golden Point home in regional Victoria yesterday (15 April 2021).

Investigators will allege child abuse material was stored on several devices in the man’s home.

The devices, including two mobile phones, a tablet and a CD were seized by police and will undergo further forensic analysis.

The man was charged with possession of child abuse material contrary to section 474.22A (1) of the Criminal Code (Cth). The maximum penalty for this offence includes up to 15 years imprisonment.

AFP Detective Superintendent Jayne Crossling said while there was a concerning rise in the scale of child abuse material being shared by Australians, investigators remained committed to dismantling the abhorrent industry.

“The exploitation of children is a borderless crime, and we want to remind offenders that thanks to our strong domestic and international partnerships, the AFP continues to work tirelessly to ensure we identify, target and prosecute those seeking to harm our community’s most vulnerable – our children,” Detective Superintendent Crossling 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.

If you or someone you know are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available, visit to learn more www.accce.gov.au/support

Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protection children online can be found at ThinkUKnow, an AFP-led education program designed to prevent online child sexual exploitation: www.thinkuknow.org.au

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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