MIL-OSI Australia: South Australian man charged with online child abuse related offences

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Source: Australian Federal Police

This is a joint release between Australian Federal Police and South Australia Police

Editor’s note: Audio grabs from AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Ben Moses quote via Hightail

A 61-year-old man is expected to face Adelaide Magistrates Court today (18 May 2022) charged by the South Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET) with accessing child abuse material online.

The man was charged on 17 March 2022 after officers searched his suburban Adelaide home and allegedly found child abuse material on a mobile phone.

The arrest was the result of an investigation launched after the Australian Federal Police (AFP) received a referral from the United States’ National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

SA JACET, which comprises AFP and SA Police officers, seized a number of electronic devices during the search at the man’s home and these will be subject to further forensic examination.

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Ben Moses said the charges demonstrated the commitment of the AFP, SA Police and other partners to investigate and charge offenders believed to be involved in child exploitation. 

“This work is gut-wrenching, but our investigators are relentless in their pursuit of anyone accessing child abuse material, and they will follow up any information to bring these people to justice,” he said. 

SA Police Detective Superintendent James Blandford said the partnership between the AFP and State Police drove a powerful enforcement and disruption approach to child sex offenders, which had a global reach. 

“It makes no difference who you are, where you are or who you are offending against, JACET will find you and hold you to account,” Detective Superintendent Blandford said.  

The man was charged with:

  • Possessing or controlling child abuse material, obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth); and
  • Using a carriage service to access child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22 (1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

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

The AFP is urging the public to help it solve cold case child abuse investigations through its Stop Child Abuse – Trace an Object initiative.

The smallest clue can often help solve a case. The world-leading initiative, is centred on the publishing of non-confrontational images that can be seen in child exploitation online material such as pieces of clothing or bedding.

Australian investigators believe the images are linked to victims in the Asia Pacific Region, including Australia, and are calling on the community to view the images and make a report at the ACCCE website.

The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the ACCCE is at the centre of a collaborative national approach.

The ACCCE brings together specialist expertise and skills in a central hub, supporting investigations into child sexual abuse and developing prevention strategies focused on creating a safer online environment.

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 or report online.

If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.

If you or someone you know are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available.

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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