MIL-OSI Australia: WA man in court for allegedly possessing child abuse material

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Source: Australian Federal Police

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

A 44-year-old man is expected to face Narrogin Court today (Tuesday, 19 October 2021) charged with allegedly possessing child abuse material by the Western Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (WA JACET).

The man was charged last month (September) after police executed a search warrant at his Wheatbelt home and allegedly found child abuse material on his mobile phone. A forensic examination of the phone and another electronic device is ongoing.

The investigation began after the Australian Federal Police Child Protection Triage Unit received reports from the United States’ National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding child abuse material (CAM) being uploaded onto the Google platform.

Investigators from WA JACET, which comprises AFP and Western Australia Police officers, allegedly linked the 44-year-old man to the username associated with the account.

He will appear in Narrogin Court charged with possessing child abuse material accessed or obtained using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for this offence is 15 years’ imprisonment.

AFP Senior Constable Ian Knapgate said this investigation demonstrates the collaborative efforts to combat the exploitation and abuse of children.

“The AFP and its partners are committed to protecting children and stopping anyone who seeks gratification from their suffering,” Senior Constable Knapgate 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.

If you or someone you know are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available, visit the ACCCE to learn more.

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.

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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