A 53-year-old central Queensland man has been arrested and charged with alleged indecent treatment of a child and possessing more than one thousand child abuse images, including some of children known to him.
The Brisbane Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (JACET) charged the man following a referral from the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE), relating to the upload of child abuse material to a secure messaging platform.
Police executed a search warrant at the man’s home last Wednesday, where they located and seized multiple electronic devices.
“Initial examination of the devices allegedly found more than 1,000 files containing child abuse material, as well as a record of a sexualised online chat with a 14-year-old girl,” the AFP said in a statement.
“It is alleged some of the images were of children the man knows.”
Police say they have identified the children and are providing them and their family members with support.
AFP Detective Inspector Mary Bolton said the abuse and exploitation of children stole their innocence and caused lifelong trauma.
“Every child deserves to feel safe and the AFP and its partners will do whatever we can to protect children,” she said.
“If you take part in this abhorrent trade in innocent lives be warned that everything you do online leaves a trace and we won’t stop until we find you and bring you to justice.”
The maximum penalty for the child abuse material offences is 15 years’ imprisonment. The maximum penalty for the indecent treatment offence is 14 years’ imprisonment.
The man was released on strict bail conditions and will next appear in court on 28 March.