A NSW man was sentenced to a maximum of nine years and 10 months’ imprisonment by the Gosford District Court on 10 May 2023 for producing, possessing and sharing child abuse material.
The investigation, codenamed Operation Tick, began when 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 the upload of child abuse material by a Kik user.
The AFP linked a NSW central coast man, 42, to the Kik account.
The man was arrested at his home in Chittaway Point on 16 March 2022 and charged with multiple child abuse-related offences.
It was revealed in court that the man covertly filmed children using a hidden camera. He also shared child abuse material that he downloaded and received.
He pleaded guilty to nine child abuse-related offences at the Gosford District Court on 9 February 2023.
- One count of possess or control child abuse material, obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
- Four counts of produce child abuse material, contrary to section 91H(2) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW);
- One count of transmit child abuse material using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
- One count of make available child abuse material using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
- One count of solicit child abuse material using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth); and
- One count of cause child abuse material to be transmitted using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).
The man will be eligible for release on 15 February, 2029.
AFP Inspector Jeremy Staunton said strong international partnerships were imperative to identifying the offender sharing child abuse material online.
“The prevalence of online child abuse is vast and it requires a global response,” he said.
“The AFP works closely with its international law enforcement partners to identify child predators and protect children from further harm.”
The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the ACCCE is driving a collaborative national approach to combatting child abuse.
The ACCCE brings together specialist expertise and skills in a central hub, supporting investigations into online child sexual exploitation and developing prevention strategies focused on creating a safer online environment.
Members of the public who have information about people involved in child abuse are urged to contact the ACCCE at www.accce.gov.au/report. If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.
If you or someone you know is impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation, support services are available at www.accce.gov.au/support.
Research conducted by the ACCCE in 2020 revealed only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety. 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.
For more information on the role of the ACCCE, what is online child sexual exploitation and how to report it visit www.accce.gov.au.