A 38-year-old man who allegedly uploaded more than 1000 digital files of young girls being sexually abused to online photo accounts has been charged by the South Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (SA JACET).
SA JACET investigators will now review about 35,000 images and hundreds of videos – which they suspect depict child abuse material – that were stored on an electronic device seized from the man’s home north of Adelaide on Wednesday (29 April).
The man has been charged with possession of child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).
He will appear in court on 10 August and faces a potential 15 years imprisonment if convicted.
An investigation into the man’s online activities began after reports from the United States’ National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).
NCMEC informed the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation about a person allegedly uploading more than 1000 media files depicting the abuse of young girls to various internet photo accounts between 30 December 2018 and January 2020.
AFP Superintendent Investigations Gail McClure said no one agency can combat child exploitation alone and co-operation, including with the community, is vital to protect children from harm and prosecute anyone who preys on them.
“Child exploitation is a community-wide issue that requires a community response – someone always knows something,” she said.
“Every image and video is a crime scene and it is horrific to think that young girls have been abused to satisfy an offender’s wishes and make a profit.
“The person viewing this abhorrent material is as complicit as the person making and distributing the product.
“The AFP and our partners are working tireless to target anyone who seeks to exploit children and we are not distracted by the demands of the COVID pandemic.”
Detective Superintendent Mark Wieszyk, officer-in-charge of the Public Protection Branch of the South Australia Police said “this is another example of our joint agency relationship that targets those involved in the exploitation of children”.
Members of the public who have any information about people involved in the possession or sharing of child exploitation material 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.