WA man charged with possession of child abuse material

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

Editor’s Note: Audio recordings of AFP Detective Sergeant Ross Hinscliff are available through Hightail.

A 42-year-old man is expected to stand trial at Perth Magistrates Court today (22 April 2022) charged by the Western Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET) of possession of child abuse material.

WA JACET, made up of police officers from AFP and WA, charged the man with two felonies on April 8 after a forensic examination of electronic devices they found at his home on March 31 revealed illegal videos and images, stored on two devices.

Investigators executed a search warrant at the man’s home in the southern Perth suburbs as a result of an investigation launched after the AFP-run Australian Center for Combating Child Exploitation received a report from the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Persons Children (NCMEC) had received. The report identified an online user believed to be in WA who had uploaded child abuse material to an online platform and AFP investigators were allegedly able to link the 42-year-old to the account to link.

The man will appear in court today charged with two counts of possession of child abuse material obtained or made accessible using a transportation service in violation of Section 474.22A(1) of the Criminal Codes Act 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for this offense is 15 years imprisonment.

AFP Detective Sergeant Ross Hinscliff said AFP and its partners are committed to identifying and prosecuting anyone who has contributed to harming children.

“Anyone viewing this material is harming a child and helping to support a vile industry that is abusing more children to meet demand,” he said.

AFP is also calling on the public to help it resolve child abuse investigations through its Stop Child Abuse – Trace an Object initiative. The smallest hint can often help to solve a case.

The world’s leading initiative focuses on the publication of non-confrontational images seen in online child exploitation materials such as clothing or bedding.

Australian investigators believe the images are linked to victims across the Asia Pacific region, including Australia, and are urging the community to view the images and complete a report at www.accce.gov.au/trace

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

The ACCCE brings expertise and skills together 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 with information about those involved in the exploitation and abuse of children are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report them online.

If you or someone you know is affected by child exploitation and abuse, including sexual abuse and online exploitation, support services are available.

For advice and support for parents and carers on how to help protect children online, visit ThinkUKnow, an AFP-led awareness program to prevent online child sexual exploitation.

Note for 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 part of the 2019 amendments to Commonwealth legislation to more accurately reflect the seriousness of the crimes and the harm inflicted on victims.

The use of the term “child pornography” is imprecise and benefits child abusers because it:

  • indicates legitimacy and obedience on the part of the victim, and thus legality on the part of the perpetrator; and
  • conjures up images of children posing in “provocative” positions rather than suffering horrific abuse.

Each photo or video depicts an actual situation in which a child was abused.

Media Inquiries:

National AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297

WA Police Media: (08) 9222 1011

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