A 25-year-old Rooty Hill man charged with Child Abuse Material (CAM) offences faced Mt. Druitt Local Court today after an Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigation.
The AFP began its investigation after receiving a report from Europol about a Facebook user believed to be based in Australia using multiple accounts to allegedly groom juvenile victims into providing CAM.
In July 2020, AFP Child Protection Operations executed a search warrant at the man's home in the Sydney suburb of Rooty Hill. Two electronic devices belonging to the man were seized for digital forensic analysis. It will be alleged a further review of the devices identified multiple child victims.
On 21 October 2020, the man was arrested and charged with:
Nine counts of using a carriage service to solicit child abuse material against section 474.22(1)(a)(iv) of the Criminal Code (Cth); and Eleven counts of possessing or controlling child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service against section 474.22A of the Criminal Code (Cth).
The maximum penalty for the offences are 15 years and 7 years imprisonment, respectively.
AFP Acting Sergeant Scott Veltmeyer said the AFP is committed to keeping our children safe online.
"With social media becoming an ever present part of our lives and our children's lives, the AFP is working tirelessly to track down and charge those who are looking to exploit children. Parents and carers should ensure they are having open conversations and talking to their children about their online activity," a/Sergeant Veltmeyer said.
"The AFP will continue to work with the community and our domestic and international partners to keep our children safe."
The man was refused bail at Mt.Druitt Local Court today (22 October 2020). He is next due in court on 16 December 2020.
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.
AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297