Three WA men on trial over alleged online child abuse offenses – Australian Federal Police | Directory Mayhem

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

Three men charged by the Western Australian Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (WA JACET) with alleged online child abuse offenses are scheduled to stand trial in Perth Magistrate’s Court today (14 October 2022).

The Perth men, who range in age from 20 to 46, were among 45 people charged as part of AFP’s Tamworth/WA Police Operation Palomar operation. Police are said to have identified the men after investigating reports from the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) of people in Western Australia who had accessed child abuse material online.

Investigators from the WA JACET, made up of AFP and WA police officers, carried out search warrants at the men’s homes in the Perth suburbs of Mandurah, Lockridge and Girrawheen.

Police found alleged child abuse material on each man’s cellphone. A laptop confiscated from one of the men’s homes also allegedly contained child abuse material.

At this time there is no evidence that the men are linked or known.

Acting AFP Inspector Peter Gelme said AFP and its local and international partners remain committed to protecting the most vulnerable in our community – our children.

“Anyone looking at this material is committing a crime,” he said.

“Our message to online offenders has not changed: – If you obtain, access and transmit child abuse material, you will be found, arrested and prosecuted.

“This is not a victimless crime. Children are not a commodity to be used for the hideous gratification of sex offenders.”

Information about the accused:

A Mandurah man, 46, charged with:

  • A count of access to child abuse material contrary to Section 474.22A of the Penal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • Three instances of transmission of child abuse material contrary to Section 474.22 of the Penal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
  • A count of possession of child abuse material contrary to Section 474.22A(1) of the Penal Code Act 1995 (Kth).

A Lockridge man, 36, charged with:

  • Two counts of possession of child abuse material contrary to Section 474.22A(1) of the Penal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • Three counts of requesting child abuse material contrary to Section 474.19(1)(a)(iv) of the Penal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
  • A count of the transmission of child abuse material contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(iii) of the Penal Code Act 1995 (Kth).

A Girrawheen man, 20, charged with:

  • A count of possession of child abuse material contrary to Section 474.22A(1) of the Penal Code Act 1995 (Kth).

The maximum sentence for each of these offenses is fifteen years imprisonment.

AFP and its partners work to stop child exploitation and abuse, and the Australian Center to Counter Child Exploitation is driving a collaborative national approach to tackling child abuse.

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

Members of the public with information about those 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 occurring or a child is in danger, call the police at 000 immediately.

A 2020 survey conducted by the ACCCE found that only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety.

An award-winning podcast launched by ACCCE Closing The Net last year is working to change that by showing that knowledge is power and that our only chance of preventing this problem is if we have a ” Contribute Whole Community” Response .

The podcast series offers valuable tips and advice on how to keep kids safe online. listen to this Closing the network Podcast on your favorite streaming platform.

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

For advice and support for parents and carers on how they can help keep children safe online, see http://thinkuknow.org.auan 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 change to this wording came as part of the 2019 amendments to Commonwealth legislation to more accurately reflect the seriousness of the crimes and the harm inflicted on the victims.

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

  • indicates legitimacy and compliance 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

AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297

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