MIL-OSI Australia: Tasmanian man charged with obstructing police and online child abuse offences

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Source: Australian Federal Police

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

A 63-year-old man who allegedly tried to hinder and obstruct a police officer while being arrested over child abuse related offences has faced Hobart Magistrates Court.

The man appeared in court on two charges yesterday (9 June 2022) after he was arrested at his Kingston home earlier in the day.

The Tasmanian Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (JACET), comprising of AFP and Tasmania Police members, executed a search warrant at the man’s home following an investigation started by a referral from the United States’ National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)

The NCMEC reports alleged a social media user suspected to be in Australia had been transmitting and receiving child abuse material.

Police allegedly linked the account to the 63-year-old man. When investigators searched his home they allegedly found child abuse material on electronic devices.

During the arrest, it will be alleged that the man attempted to destroy evidence found at his residence ad he attempted to punch the attending police officers.

AFP Detective Sergeant Nick Gibson said the AFP and Tasmania Police were committed to keeping children safe.   

“The Tasmanian JACET will continue to work together to track down and prosecute anyone involved in child abuse and exploitation,” Det-Sgt Gibson said.

“We also rely on the community to help ensure we are effective in identifying victims and perpetrators.

“If you have information that could help law enforcement, please contact the ACCCE at https://www.accce.gov.au/report.”

The man was charged with:

  • Possessing child abuse material obtained via the internet, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for the offence is 15 years’ imprisonment;
  • Obstructing a Commonwealth official, contrary to section 149.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for the offence is two years’ imprisonment.

The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) is driving a collaborative national approach to combatting child abuse.

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

Members of the public who have information about people involved in child abuse and exploitation are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or www.accce.gov.au/report. If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.

Research conducted by the ACCCE in 2020 revealed only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety.

An award-winning podcast launched last year by the ACCCE ‘Closing The Net’ is working to change that, showcasing that knowledge is power and that our only chance to help prevent this issue is if we bring a ‘whole-of-community’ response.

The podcast series offers valuable tips and advice on how to keep kids safe online. Listen to the Closing The Net podcast on your favourite streaming platform.

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

Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protect children online can be found at www.thinkuknow.org.au, 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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