A 28-year-old man is scheduled to appear in Darwin Local Court after the Northern Territory Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (NT JACET) charged him with the alleged possession of child abuse material and destruction of evidence.
Using specialised training in child protection systems delivered by the US-based Child Rescue Coalition at the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) in Brisbane, officers from the NT JACET conducted inquiries into the online activities of a user allegedly accessing child abuse material via online networks.
Subsequent police investigations identified the user as residing in the Northern Territory.
On 20 April 2020 members of the NT JACET, with assistance from Northern Territory Police, executed a search warrant at a home in the Darwin suburb of Malak. Investigators seized a laptop and USB storage device which police will allege contain child abuse material.
On 28 April 2020, following further forensic analysis of the devices seized during the search warrant, NT JACET members attended the 28-year-old’s home and placed him under arrest. He was conveyed to the Palmerston Watch House where Police bail was refused. He is expected to appear before Darwin Local Court today (29 April 2020) for the alleged possession of child abuse material and destruction of evidence, contrary to sections 102 and 125B of the Criminal Code Act 1983 (NT). The maximum penalty for these offences are 3 and 10 years imprisonment respectively.
NT Police Detective Sergeant Paul Lawson said “this joint operation between the Northern Territory Police and Australian Federal Police shows that these online predators cannot hide when they commit these horrendous offences. We continue to work together to make the community safer for all Australian children.”
AFP Acting Commander ACCCE and Child Protection Operations Paula Hudson said the ACCCE used a range of investigative techniques to detect anyone who preyed on children online, or accessed abusive content and worked closely with state and territory partners to identify and charge perpetrators with online child sexual exploitation offences.
“Accessing and viewing child abuse material is not a victimless crime. Every image and every video is a child being horrifically abused and that abuse will stay with them for life. This material is repulsive and we will find those who support this industry and put them before the courts,” Acting Commander Hudson said.
Members of the public who have any information about people involved in child abuse and exploitation 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.