Sydney man charged with procuring child for sexual activity

A 37-year-old Sydney man is expected to appear at Burwood Local Court today (16 November 2021) to face child abuse-related charges following an Australian Federal Police operation.

The man came to police attention earlier this month when the Australian Federal Police-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a report from a member of the public regarding an adult male communicating online with a child.

Investigators from AFP Eastern Command Child Protection Operations reviewed the communications and identified offences relating to transmitting indecent communications to a person under 16 years of age and procuring a person under 16 years for sexual activity.

A search warrant was executed at the man’s home in Summer Hill today (16 November 2021) with investigators seizing a smartphone. The devices will now be subject to further forensic examination.

The man was arrested and charged with:

  • One count of use carriage service to procure person under 16 years of age for sexual activity, contrary to section 474.26(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth);
  • One count of use carriage service to transmit indecent communication to person under 16 years of age, contrary to section 474.27A(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth);
  • One count of contravene prohibition order, contrary to section 13(1) of the Child Protection (Offenders Prohibition Orders) Act 2004 (NSW); and
  • One count fail to comply with reporting obligations, contrary to section 17(1) of the Child Protection (Offenders Prohibition Orders) Act 2004 (NSW).

The maximum penalty for these offences is 15 years’ imprisonment, 10 years’ imprisonment, 5 years’ imprisonment and 5 years’ imprisonment, respectively.

Detective Acting Sergeant Amanda Thompson said the investigation was an example of police working with the community to protect children and ensure people suspected of producing child abuse material were identified and prosecuted.

“This outcome shows that the AFP, working with the broader community, can make a difference to protect children and ensure suspected offenders are put before the courts,” Detective Acting Sergeant Thompson said.

The ACCCE is committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and is at the centre of a collaborative national approach to combatting organised child abuse.

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

The reports received are of significant value and have sparked three investigative leads. It has also prompted other members of the public to report their own abuse.

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 or report online.

If you or someone you know are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available.

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.

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