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21-year-old Adelaide man imprisoned for six years for online child abuse offences

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A 21-year-old Adelaide man has been sentenced to six years imprisonment by the South Australian District Court for online child abuse-related offences.

The man was arrested when he was 19 years old by South Australian Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (SA JACET) officers at a train station in August 2020.

He was there to meet a 14-year-old girl with whom he believed he was having an online conversation, including sexually explicit exchanges. However, he spoke with a covert police officer posing as the girl.

Investigators from SA JACET, composed of both South Australian Police and Australian Federal Police (AFP), searched the man’s home and found child abuse material on his devices. Some of the material was of young children being sexually abused, while other material included sexually explicit videos that were self-produced by teenage girls he had groomed and manipulated online.

Police were made aware of his activities after receiving a tip from the United States’ National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children about an Australian man allegedly uploading child abuse material to social media.

The AFP identified the man as the person uploading the shocking images.

A covert police operation was begun with a police operative posing as the 14-year-old girl and striking up a conversation with the man. He was arrested at the train station when he went to meet her in person.

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Ben Moses offered some advice to parents.

“We want parents and carers to understand how their children are being targeted and how predators abuse technology to try and invite themselves into the bedrooms of children,” Det-A/Supt Moses said.

“Please remind children to never meet up with anyone they have only known online or tell those online ‘friends’ personal information that could help someone to find them.”

The man was convicted of 13 offences:

Four counts of using a carriage service for sexual activity with a person under 16 years of age, contrary to section 474.25A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);

One count of using a carriage service to procure a person under 16 years of age, contrary to section 474.26 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);

Three counts of using a carriage service to access or obtain child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);

One count of using a carriage service to solicit child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);

One count of using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);

One count of using a carriage service to cause child abuse material to be transmitted, contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);

One count of possession or control of child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);

One count of using a carriage service to transmit indecent communication to a person under 16 years of age, contrary to section 474.27A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The man has been ordered to serve three years’ imprisonment before being eligible to apply for parole.

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 www.accce.gov.au/report. If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.

Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protect children online can be found at www.thinkuknow.org.au, an AFP-led education program designed to prevent online child sexual exploitation.

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