NSW man charged for accessing child abuse material

A Cooma man is expected to appear in Cooma Local Court today (23 August, 2023), charged with online child abuse offences.

The AFP allegedly linked the man, 69, to an online user who posted a publicly visible link promoting child abuse material.

It will be alleged the man engaged in sexualised conversations online and accessed child abuse material.

AFP Child Protection Operations members executed a search warrant at the man’s home on 6 June, 2023, and seized numerous electronic devices and USBs which are alleged to contain child abuse material.

The man first appeared in Queanbeyan Local Court on 7 June, 2023, on charges of:

  • Using a carriage service to access child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • Using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material to self, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
  • Possessing child abuse material, contrary to section 91H(2) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

The maximum penalty for the offences is 15 years’ imprisonment.

The man was also charged with contravening requirements of a section 3LA Order, contrary to section 3LA(6) of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth). Police will allege he failed to provide password access to a USB. The maximum penalty for this offence in 10 years’ imprisonment.

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Jeremy Staunton said individuals who viewed or possessed child abuse material supported an industry that physically exploited and traumatised children.

“Every time this material is viewed, it perpetuates the cycle of abuse against these children,” Det Acting Supt Staunton said.

“This is not a victimless crime. The AFP and its partners are relentless in pursuing and prosecuting anyone involved in the harm of children.”

The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation is driving a collaborative national approach to combatting child abuse.

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

Members of the public who have information about people involved in child abuse are urged to contact the ACCCE at www.accce.gov.au/report. If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.

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

Research conducted by the ACCCE in 2020 revealed only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety. Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protect children online can be found at www.thinkuknow.org.au, an AFP-led education program designed to prevent online child sexual exploitation.

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