Tasmanian Man Arrested for Possessing and Distributing Child Abuse Material Online,

Australia, Police

Article: A 23-year-old Tasmanian man has been arrested for allegedly possessing and distributing graphic online child abuse material across various social media platforms. The arrest was made by the Tasmanian Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (TAS JACET), which is composed of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Tasmania Police Force. The arrest came after the team received nine reports from the United States National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

According to the investigation, the man is accused of uploading and distributing child abuse material featuring toddlers and infants on platforms such as Snapchat, Discord, Dropbox, Telegram, and Google Drive. A search warrant was executed at the man’s residence in Berriedale, where two laptops were seized for examination. Forensic analysis reportedly identified hundreds of videos and images of serious online child abuse material.

The man has been charged with two counts of possessing child abuse material obtained using a carriage service, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years’ imprisonment. The AFP Detective Sergeant Aaron Hardcastle emphasized the commitment of the AFP to investigating and charging alleged offenders involved in child exploitation and sexual abuse.

Tasmania Police Assistant Commissioner Rob Blackwood highlighted the importance of collaboration with law enforcement partners both locally and internationally to combat child exploitation. He stated that Tasmania Police takes allegations of child sexual abuse seriously and remains dedicated to protecting vulnerable community members.

The arrest serves as a reminder that law enforcement agencies are relentless in their pursuit of those sharing or accessing child abuse material to safeguard children. The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) encourages the public to report any information regarding child abuse and exploitation. Additionally, support services are available for those impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation.

It is important to note that the term “Child Abuse Material” is used instead of “Child Pornography” to accurately reflect the gravity of the crimes and the harm inflicted on victims. The shift in terminology aims to avoid benefiting child sex abusers by accurately portraying the abusive nature of the content.

Parents and caregivers are urged to talk to their children about online safety, as research conducted by the ACCCE revealed that only about half of parents engage in these conversations. The AFP-led education program, ThinkUKnow, provides advice and support for parents and carers to help protect children online.

The ACCCE plays a crucial role in investigating online child sexual exploitation, developing prevention strategies, and creating a safer online environment. Journalists seeking further information can contact the ACCCE during office hours or visit their website.

The arrest of the Tasmanian man underscores the commitment of law enforcement agencies to combatting child abuse and online exploitation. Through collaborative efforts and ongoing investigations, they strive to bring offenders to justice and protect vulnerable children within the community.