A Melbourne man charged with producing and accessing large amounts of child exploitation material has been sentenced to four years and eight months’ jail in the Melbourne County Court.
The 59-year-old Traralgon man pled guilty earlier this month to 12 online child abuse-related offences, including producing child pornography through a carriage service.
He was arrested by the Victorian Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET) at his Traralgon property on 8 July last year after a referral from INTERPOL in Rome.
Foreign law enforcement identified an Australian online account “displaying a concerning interest in accessing child abuse material”, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said in a statement.
Investigators from the Victorian JACET – comprising officers from the AFP and Victoria Police – searched the man’s home after his arrest and found child abuse material on electronic devices. Police say some of the material was of young children being sexually abused, while other files were sexually-explicit videos self-produced by children the man had contacted online.
AFP Detective Superintendent Simone Butcher said the completion of court proceedings was an opportunity to reflect on the real-world harm done by those who exploit vulnerable children.
“The AFP is working tirelessly with both domestic and international partners to identify and stop anyone involved in harming children,” Det Supt Butcher said.
“Children are being forced to endure horrific pain, violence and humiliation for the gratification of depraved adults and this causes lifelong physical and emotional harm.
“We will never give up our fight to protect children and prosecute anyone involved in this vile behaviour.”
Det Supt Butcher said the case should also be a warning to adults who were trying to prey on children online.
“The AFP and its partners have officers working on a range of platforms online to identify people trying to harm children. The next ‘child’ you try to exploit could instead be a police officer,” she said.