20 May 2024

Goulburn man charged over alleged child abuse offences following international tip-off

| Claire Fenwicke
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Goulburn courthouse

A 28-year-old man was refused bail at Goulburn Local Court over alleged child abuse offences. Photo: John Thistleton.

A Goulburn man has been charged for allegedly possessing thousands of child abuse images and videos following a tip-off from overseas.

The AFP had been investigating a report from the United States’ National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about an online user uploading child abuse material to social media platforms.

It’s alleged the user was related to 27 other reports.

AFP Eastern Command Child Protection Operations (EC-CPO) officers executed a search warrant on a Goulburn home on 16 May, where they seized two mobile phones.

“Initial examination of the devices allegedly located more than 2000 files containing child abuse material, as well as a record of a sexualized online chat with an eight-year-old boy,” an AFP statement alleged.

“Police seized the mobile phones for further examination.”

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The man was charged with 12 child-abuse-related offences, including eight counts of possessing or controlling child abuse material, two counts of producing child abuse material, one count of using a carriage service for sexual activity with a person under 16 years of age, and one count of using a carriage service to access child abuse material.

The maximum penalty for the offence of using a carriage service to access child abuse material is 20 years imprisonment.

The maximum penalty for possessing and producing child abuse material offences is 15 and 10 years respectively.

The 28-year-old appeared before Goulburn Local Court on Friday (17 May), where he was refused bail.

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AFP Acting Sergeant Nick Xuereb said children who were sexually abused were impacted every time images or videos of the crimes were accessed and shared online.

“Every child deserves to feel safe and the AFP and its partners will do whatever we can to protect children,” he said.

“Our message to online offenders has not changed – if you procure, access and transmit child abuse material, you will be found, arrested and prosecuted.”

If you have information about a person involved in child abuse, you can report it to the ACCCE. If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police on Triple Zero (000).

If you or someone you know has been impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation, support services are available. Information for parents and carers on how to help protect children online can be found through ThinkUKnow.

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