A 33-year-old Werribee man was yesterday sentenced to four years’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to child exploitation offences.
The man was charged after Australian Federal Police officers executed a search warrant at his Werribee property on 12 December 2019.
The investigation was launched after the Victorian Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET), comprising AFP and Victoria Police members, received a report from the AFP’s Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) over the grooming of a child through the social media application ‘Kik’.
The AFP found the man sent sexually explicit images to a 12-year-old girl.
During the search warrant at a Werribee property, officers seized child exploitation material on a USB and discovered numerous conversations with underage females on the man’s mobile phone.
The man pled guilty to the following charges:
- 26 counts of using a carriage service to transmit indecent communication to a person believed to be under 16 years of age, contrary to subsection 474.27A(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth)
- 3 counts of using a carriage service to transmit child pornography material, contrary to sub-section 474.19(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth)
- 4 counts of using a carriage service to cause child pornography material to be transmitted to himself, contrary to sub-section 474.19(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth)
- 3 counts of using a carriage service to solicit child pornography material, contrary to sub-section 474.19(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth)
- 1 count of possessing or controling child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to sub-section 474.22A(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth)
The man will be eligible for parole after serving 2 years.
VIDEO: The arrest in December 2020
AFP Commander Investigations Todd Hunter said the AFP remained committed to identifying and prosecuting online offenders attempting to exploit children.
“Alarmingly, the appetite for child exploitation material is increasing and there are predators in our community who will abuse vulnerable children to facilitate this vile industry,” Commander Hunter said.
“This results in devastating and lifelong consequences for child victims and their families.
“Today’s sentence should act as a warning to those participating in this abhorrent criminality; you will be tracked down, prosecuted and locked away.”
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.