Melbourne man convicted of possession of child abuse material

A Melbourne man has been sentenced to one year in prison, with a one-year confession order for online child abuse, following a Victorian Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (JACET) investigation.

The Brunswick man, 40, was convicted today (October 20, 2022) by the Melbourne County Court after pleading guilty to one charge of possession of child abuse material.

The investigation began when the AFP-led Australian Center to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about an online user who forwarded child abuse material.

Investigators from the Victoria JACET, which consists of AFP and Victoria Police officers, linked the man to the account.

On August 20, 2021, a search warrant was issued at the man’s home, with detectives confiscating a cell phone and a laptop.

The man was arrested and charged on September 22, 2021 after a digital forensic examination of the electronic devices that had identified child abuse material.

AFP Senior Constable Mark Sharer said the arrest was another reminder of the AFP and its partners’ commitment to protect children and identify and prosecute anyone who tried to exploit and harm them.

“Anyone who owns or shares child abuse material creates a market for child abuse material and incites others to physically hurt children,” he said.

“This arrest should serve as a warning that law enforcement officers are committed to fighting child sexual abuse and prosecuting those who commit these crimes.”

The man was sentenced to:

imprisonment for one year, with one year’s release by order of recognition and for eight years on the sex offender registry.

The AFP and its partners are committed to ending child exploitation and abuse and the ACCCE is promoting a national joint approach to combat child abuse.

The ACCCE brings together specialist expertise and skills in a central hub, supports investigations into online sexual exploitation of children and develops prevention strategies aimed at creating a safer online environment.

Members of the public with information about people involved in child abuse and exploitation are urged to call Crime Stoppers at 1800 333,000 or www.accce.gov.au/report. If you know that abuse is taking place or if a child is in danger, call the police immediately on 000.

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

An award-winning podcast launched by the ACCCE ‘Closing The Net’ last year tries to change that by showing that knowledge is power and that our only chance to help prevent this problem is if we get a response from all over the world. bring community.

The podcast series offers valuable tips and advice for keeping kids safe online. Listen to the Closing The Net podcast on your favorite streaming platform.

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

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

Note to media:

Use of the term “CHILD ABUSE” MATERIAL NOT “CHILD PORNOGRAPHY”

The correct legal term is child abuse material – the move to this wording was one of the changes to Commonwealth law in 2019 to more accurately reflect the seriousness of the crimes and harm done to victims.

The use of the phrase “child pornography” is incorrect and benefits child abusers because it:

points to legitimacy and compliance on the part of the victim and thus legality on the part of the abuser; and conjures up images of children posing in ‘provocative’ poses, rather than suffering horrific abuse.

Each photo or video captures an actual situation where a child has been abused.

Media questions

AFP media: (02) 5126 9297

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