Perth man, 29, accused of accessing child abuse material online

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

A Western Australian man accused of possessing child abuse images and videos that he has accessed through the internet is expected to face Perth Magistrate's Court today (11 September) on two charges.

An investigation was launched after the Australian Federal Police (AFP) received a report from the United States' National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about a person in WA uploading images considered child abuse material to social media.

Police allegedly linked the account to a 29-year-old man and the Western Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (WA JACET) executed a search warrant at his family's home earlier this year.

Investigators allegedly found child abuse material on an electronic device and a total of three devices were sent for analysis.

The man was charged on 21 August 2020 and is expected to appear in court for the first time today (11 September) on one count of possession of child exploitation material, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) and one count of possession of obscene or indecent articles, contrary to section 59(5) of the Classification Enforcement Act 1996 (WA).

The maximum penalty for those offences is 15 years imprisonment.

AFP Sgt Joel Van Den Brun said officers in the WA JACET, which is a joint AFP and WA Police Force taskforce, work tirelessly to protect children and prosecute anyone who preys on them – online or offline.

"People who access and share child abuse material are complicit in the physical abuse of children," Sgt Van Den Brun said.

"Each frame shows a child having their innocence forcibly taken. We will never relinquish our duty to keep children safe, wherever they live.

"However parents and carers should never underestimate their ability to protect children from offenders who approach them online. As we mark National Child Protection Week, this arrest is a timely reminder for parents and carers to understand how predators abuse technology to invite themselves into the bedrooms of our children, and to learn how they can safeguard against this danger."

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.

For practical tips for parents, carers and schools to help keep kids safe, visit the ACCCE website.

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 National Media: (02) 5126 9297

National Security Hotline

Read the AFP Annual Report 2018-19

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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