Tasmanian man charged over allegedly accessing anime child abuse material

A West Ulverstone man has been charged for allegedly accessing child abuse material, including about 85,000 online pages of computer-generated animated abusive imagery.

The man, 30, faced the Launceston Magistrates Court yesterday (Tuesday 21 May, 2024), charged with using a carriage service to access child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(i) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

He was refused bail and scheduled to reappear in the Launceston Magistrates Court on 13 June, 2024.

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

The Tasmanian Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (TAS-JACET), comprising of AFP and Tasmania Police members, executed a search warrant at the man’s West Ulverstone home on 25 March, 2024.

Police seized electronic devices, including a laptop, mobile phone and USBs allegedly belonging to the accused, for forensic analysis.

An examination of the electronic devices allegedly detected multiple files containing child abuse material and about 85,000 online pages of computer-generated animated child abuse material, known as Japanese Hentai.

As a result of the analysis, the TAS-JACET executed a search warrant at the man’s home on Monday 20 May, 2024, and subsequently charged him.

AFP Detective Sergeant Aaron Hardcastle said animated or virtual depictions of children performing explicit sexual acts were defined as child abuse material and prosecutable under Australian legislation.

“Hentai is a style of Japanese pornographic anime, and children depicted in sexually explicit imagery is considered child abuse material under Commonwealth legislation,” Det-Sgt Hardcastle said.

“These images depict very young children engaging in extremely sadistic acts, and people who view them may also seek out child abuse material depicting real children.

“This arrest should serve as yet another serious warning that law enforcement has zero tolerance for child exploitation and child sexual abuse in any form.”

The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) 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. 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.

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 thinkuknow. an AFP-led education program designed to prevent online child sexual exploitation.

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