Sydney man charged with soliciting child pornography

A North Shore man appeared in Hornsby Local Court today (11 July 2024) charged with allegedly soliciting child abuse material online.

AFP Eastern Command child protection operations launched an investigation into the man following a report of a New South Wales-based individual soliciting child sexual abuse material on an online messaging platform.

Police have identified the 31-year-old man who was allegedly involved in the illegal activity.

AFP officers executed a search warrant at the man’s home in Hornsby on Wednesday (10 July 2024), with investigators seizing a mobile phone that allegedly contained online sexual conversations about children and solicited child abuse material.

The man was later charged with using a carriage service to solicit child pornography, contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code (Cth). He was granted strict bail and is due to appear in Downing Centre Local Court on 4 September 2024.

The maximum penalty for this offence is 15 years’ imprisonment.

AFP Acting Commissioner Emmanuel Tsardoulias said obtaining child pornography was not a victimless crime and was punishable by law.

“Our message to online offenders has not changed: if you obtain, access or transmit child sexual abuse material, you will be found, arrested and prosecuted,” he said.

“These children are real people, not commodities for the grotesque gratification of predators.”

AFP and its partners are committed to ending child exploitation and abuse and ACCCE is leading a collaborative national approach to combating child abuse.

The ACCCE brings together specialist expertise and skills in a central hub, supporting investigations into online child sexual exploitation and developing prevention strategies focused on creating a safer online environment.

Members of the public who have information about people involved in child abuse are urged to contact the ACCCE. If you know abuse is taking place or a child is in danger, call the police immediately on 000.

If you or someone you know is a victim of child sexual abuse and online exploitation, support services are available.

A 2020 ACCCE study found that only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety. Advice and support for parents and guardians on how they can help protect children online is available on the ThinkUKnow website, an AFP-led educational program designed to prevent child sexual exploitation online.

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