US National Sentenced to Two Years Imprisonment for Possessing and Producing Child Abuse Material

Australia, Police

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A United States national residing in Victoria has been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for possessing and producing child abuse material. The 51-year-old man pleaded guilty to three child abuse related offences and was sentenced by the Victorian County Court in Bendigo on July 3, 2024.

The investigation into the man began after the Victorian Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET), consisting of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Victoria Police, received information from NSW Police and the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) in December 2022. The man was linked to online child abuse offending, leading to the execution of a search warrant at his Maryborough home in July 2023. During the search, investigators discovered several electronic devices, including a mobile phone, containing child abuse material.

Initially charged with one Commonwealth offence, the man was later charged with two state-based child abuse offences after further examination of his electronic devices. He has been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for the state-based offences and 14 months’ imprisonment for the Commonwealth offence, with a non-parole period of 14 months. The man will spend 17 months in jail before becoming eligible for a recognisance release order.

The AFP Detective Acting Inspector Scot Kennedy emphasized the importance of protecting children and bringing justice to those who exploit or harm them. He stated, “Child abuse causes significant harm to victims, and they suffer each time images or videos of their abuse are accessed and shared.”

The ACCCE, in collaboration with various law enforcement agencies, is working towards combating child abuse and exploitation. The public is encouraged to report any information about individuals involved in child abuse to the ACCCE. Additionally, parents and carers are encouraged to have conversations with their children about online safety, and resources are available on the ThinkUKnow website, an AFP-led education program designed to prevent online child sexual exploitation.

It is crucial to use the term “Child Abuse Material” instead of “Child Pornography” as it accurately reflects the gravity of the crimes and the harm inflicted on victims. The phrase “child pornography” is inaccurate and benefits child sex abusers.

The case serves as a reminder of the ongoing efforts by law enforcement agencies to protect children and hold offenders accountable for their actions.

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