A 61-year-old Tasmanian man has been charged with child abuse and bestiality offences after authorities executed a search warrant at a Hobart property yesterday (Tuesday, 23 February 2021).
The Tasmanian Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (JACET), comprising Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Tasmania Police members, charged the man with possessing significant amounts of child abuse material.
Tasmanian JACET executed the search warrant at the man’s Hobart home following reports to the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) via the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the United States.
Investigators seized a mobile phone and a laptop computer from the property for further forensic analysis. Police will allege in court that folders found on the seized mobile phone contain child abuse material and bestiality content.
Police also seized a number of items from the boot of the accused’s car, which police suspect may be indicative of additional offending or plans for further offending.
The man has been charged with the following offences:
- Possessing child abuse material accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
- Possessing bestiality product, contrary to section 74 of the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Enforcement Act 1995 (TAS).
The maximum penalty for these offences is 15 years imprisonment.
He is faced the Hobart Magistrates Court yesterday (23 February 2021) where he was granted conditional bail to reappear on 30 March 2021.
AFP Commander Todd Hunter said the AFP and its JACET partner Tasmania Police are committed to keeping vulnerable children safe.
“The items found in the car are particularly of concern in this context and our investigations are ongoing to identify any other possible offences,’ he said.
“The Tasmania JACET will continue to work together to track down and prosecute anyone who seeks to bring harm to any child.
“That includes those who access and share images and photographs of children being abused by other people. “Today’s arrest is testament to our resolute efforts to ensure children aren’t re-victimised by those seeking to derive enjoyment from their suffering.”
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.
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.