A Cambridge Park man has appeared in Penrith Local Court, charged with multiple alleged online exploitation offences including soliciting child abuse material.
The investigation into the alleged offending began this month after the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a report from the UK’s National Crime Agency in relation to an online user allegedly soliciting child abuse material and discussing the sexual abuse of child victims.
Further police inquiries identified a separate report received from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) detailing an online user identified as soliciting child abuse material on social media.
AFP investigators then allegedly linked the man, 26, to both reports.
A search warrant was executed at the man’s Cambridge Park home on November 9, with investigators allegedly finding child abuse material on electronic devices. The devices were seized by police and will undergo further forensic examination.
The man was charged with:
2 x counts of possess child abuse material using a carriage service contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
2 x counts of solicit child abuse material using a carriage service contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(iv) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
1 x count of cause child abuse material to be transmitted to self using a carriage service contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(ii) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth); and
1 x count of use child under 14 years for the production of child abuse material contrary to section 91G(1)(a) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).
The maximum penalty for the offences includes up to 15 years’ imprisonment.
The man fronted court for an initial appearance last Friday.
AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Jeremy Staunton said procuring child abuse material was not a victimless crime and was punishable by law.
“These children are real people and not commodities to be used for the grotesque gratification of predators,” Det. A/Supt Staunton said.
“Our investigators are resolute in finding and prosecuting those who access this material and perpetuate harm towards our community’s most vulnerable – our children.”
The man is scheduled to appear at Penrith Local Court again on January 12 next year.