Hunter man charged with several counts of child abuse offences

Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers have arrested a man from the Hunter region who has been charged with seven counts of child abuse-related offences.

The AFP investigation began after the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a report from the United States’ National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about a user uploading child abuse material to several online platforms.

AFP investigators allegedly linked the man to the accounts uploading the material.

A search warrant was executed on the man’s home on August 11 and investigators seized a mobile phone and laptop which will be subject to further forensic examination as they allegedly contained child abuse material.

The 26-year-old man was arrested yesterday and is expected to appear in Raymond Terrace Local Court today.

The man was charged with two counts of using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(iii) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth), two counts of using carriage service to solicit child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(iv) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), two counts of possessing or controlling child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and using a carriage service to access child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for these offences is 15 years’ imprisonment.

AFP Detective Sergeant Navi Pandher warned that watching, downloading or purchasing child abuse material was not a victimless crime.

“There is no less-culpable option when it comes to this type of offending. Child abuse material is a record of the horrific abuse of children and if you seek it out you are supporting an industry that preys on children,’’ D/Sgt Pandher said.

Members of the public who have information about people involved in child abuse and exploitation are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.

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