Man charged over alleged child abuse chats

Police have charged a 22-year-old man over alleged child abuse material.
Police have charged a 22-year-old man over alleged child abuse material.

A MAN who is accused of posing as a woman online to chat about sexually abusing young children will face court today.

A 22-year-old Palmyra man was identified as a suspected user after the WA Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team launched an investigation in July 2019.

WA JACET launched the investigation following a report from the United States’ National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about a person uploading child abuse material to a social media platform.

Police seized a mobile phone during a search of the man’s home, which was executed on December 17.

A forensic examination has allegedly identified stored child abuse material, which police allege was saved records of text chats describing the sexual assault of boys and girls.

Investigators also allegedly found social media account profiles on the phone which matched details from the NCMEC report.

WA JACET will allege that between November 2017 and December 2019, the 22-year-old pretended to be a woman on social media to engage in explicit conversations with men and discussed the sexual abuse of a teenage girl and young children.

He will face Perth Magistrate’s Court for the first time today, charged with two counts of transmitting child pornography material using a carriage service and one count of possession of child exploitation material.

The maximum penalties for the offences are 15 years imprisonment and seven years, respectively.

Police investigating this matter have not identified any children being abused.

Investigations are ongoing into the men who allegedly engaged in explicit conversations with the 22-year-old.

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Crime Operations in Perth, Paula Fernandez, said sadly, appetite for child abuse material was increasing globally.

“Child abuse material covers not only videos and photographs, it also includes obscene conversations and fantasies, audio and text depicting children engaged in sexual poses or activity, cartoons, drawings and graphics,” she said.

“Conversations like those alleged in this case can normalise the harm of children for an adult’s sexual satisfaction and that is abhorrent.

“To those thinking of having these conversations, or accessing or sharing other abusive material – your demand supports a vile industry and leads to children being harmed.”

Det. Acting Supt Fernandez said the case should also serve as a reminder that people conversing on social media are not always who they say they are.

“This arrest should serve as a warning that you are not anonymous online and we are dedicated to tracking you down and bringing you to justice,” she said.

More news

Perth man charged with ‘revenge porn’

Brothel madam caught with $65k cash: police