26 September 2023

AFP makes US arrest for child abuse

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Police from the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) have arrested and charged a 35-year-old man in the United States over alleged child sex and exploitation material offences.

In a statement, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said the ACCCE notified Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) in the United States after a Covert Online Engagement Team (COET) identified a user from an American-based internet forum who was allegedly producing and uploading explicit images of a young girl.

Acting on the information, HIS officers rescued the child victim and arrested the man at his home in Rushville, Indiana last Friday (27 March).

AFP Acting Commander, ACCCE and Child Protection, Paula Hudson said the investigation was another example of Australian law enforcement’s dedication to working alongside its international law enforcement partners to protect children.

“The consumption, production and dissemination of child abuse material has horrific lifelong impacts on its victims,” A/Commander Hudson said.

“Our commitment to these investigations will not cease despite the challenging circumstances we may face here in Australia and across the globe due to the COVID-19 outbreak,” she said.

“The AFP, together with our state and international partners will continue to work tirelessly to protect the most vulnerable in our community – our children.”

A/Commander Hudson said that in a separate investigation, the ACCCE COET had infiltrated a child sex offender network operating on the dark net and seized 3,500 images and video files depicting the sexual exploitation of children.

She said the material was immediately reviewed by the ACCCE Victim Identification Team, resulting in the detection of 60 previously unidentified child victims and the addition of incriminating content to 66 current cases.

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