Queensland man faces charge for online child abuse offence

A 55-year-old Queensland man is expected to face Brisbane Magistrates Court today (4 December) charged with accessing child abuse material.

Australian Federal Police (AFP) Child Protection Operations officers arrested the man last month (November 2020) after he returned from the Philippines where he had been living.

The AFP investigation began in 2012 after a report from Luxembourg Police.

The report alleged a person, suspected to be in Queensland, was accessing child abuse material from a web hosting service.

AFP investigators executed a search warrant at the man’s home in Murrumba Downs in June 2012 and the man was subsequently issued with a summons to appear in court. However, he had already left Australia to live in the Philippines.

On 7 November 2020 the man returned to Australia and entered mandatory COVID-19 quarantine.

Following his release from quarantine, the man was charged with accessing child abuse material via a carriage service contrary to section 474.19(1)(a)(i) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The potential maximum penalty for the offence is 10 years’ imprisonment.

AFP Child Protection Operations Detective Superintendent Paula Hudson said the AFP will not stop pursuing those accessing child abuse material in our community.

“We are working tirelessly to hunt down offenders and ensure they are brought before the court,” Detective Superintendent Hudson said.

“Accessing child sexual abuse material online perpetuates a cycle of child abuse, it makes that person complicit in the physical and emotional harm of a child.”

“It takes a network to break a network. This investigation is an example of the AFP’s strong relationships with international law enforcement and how the sharing of intelligence helps keep children safe.”

Members of the public who have any information about people involved in child abuse and exploitation are urged to call Crime stoppers on 1800 333 000.

You can also make a report online by alerting the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation via the Report Abuse button at www.accce.gov.au/report.

If you or someone you know are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available, visit to learn more www.accce.gov.au/support

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

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