What is the Maximum Sentence for Possessing Child Abuse Material?

 

It’s reported that a 30-year-old man allegedly possessed a child-like sex doll in his home in South Australia.

He is also alleged to have ordered various children’s clothes, which included child underwear, swimwear and school uniforms.

Authorities were given a tip off from PayPal Australia and NSW Police, which instigated an investigation by South Australian Police and the Australian Federal Police.

Police allege that he had made an online order to buy the child-like sex doll from a china-based consignor in the end of 2018.

When he was arrested and charged last Tuesday, during a search of his home in SA’s south-east, police found the child-like sex doll in his home as well as a computer and children’s clothes.

Police also allege that he possessed child abuse material stored in his computer.

His mobile phone was also seized for examination.

Authorities concerns are that such dolls sexually objectified children, which can desensitise a person who uses it.

Gail McClure, Acting Commander AFP in SA said, “Some dolls are event robots and designed to respond positively to the abuse.”

“The Australian Federal Police does not condone any form of child exploitation, or activity of any kind that reinforces the sexualisation of children.”

“This includes sexual gratification activity using items depicting children- these anatomically correct dolls are legally considered child exploitation material.”

He’s been released on bail after being charged with possessing child-like sex doll, possession of child abuse material and importing tier two good(s).

What is “Child Abuse Material” under the Law?

Child abuse material includes material that’s a doll or object that resembles either a person who is or appears to be under the age of 18, or a part of the body of such person, but only if a reasonable person would regard it likely that it’s intended to be used by a person to simulate sexual intercourse (section 473.1 Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)).

“child abuse material” also includes:

  • Material that describes any of the following in a way that reasonable people would consider it in all the circumstances as offensive:
    1. A sexual organ or anal region of a person who is or implied to be under age; or
    2. The breasts of a female who is or implied to be under age.
  • Material that describes a person who either is or implied to be under the age of 18 and does any of the following in a way that reasonable people would regard as in all the circumstances offensive:
    1. Engages in or is implied to engage in a sexual pose or activity; or
    2. Is in the presence of another person who’s engaged in or is implied to be engaged in the same.
  • Material, the dominant characteristic is the depiction for a sexual purpose any of the following in a way that reasonable people would regard in all the circumstances as offensive:
    1. A sexual organ or anal region of a person or person who appears to be under age; or
    2. Representation of such a sexual organ or anal region; or
    3. The breasts, or a representation of the breasts, of a female who is or appears to be under age.
  • Material that depicts a person or representation of one, who is or appears to be under the age of 18 and who does any of the following in a way that reasonable people would regard in all the circumstances as offensive:
    1. Engaged in or appears to be engaged in a sexual pose or activity; or
    2. Is in the presence of another person who is engaged or appears to be engaged in the same.
  • Material that describes a person who is or is implied to be under the age of 18 and is or is implied to be a victim of torture, cruelty or physical abuse in a way that reasonable people consider in all the circumstances as offensive.
  • Material that depicts a person or representation of one who does either is or appears to be under age; and is or appears to be a victim of torture, cruelty or physical abuse in a way that reasonable people would consider in all the circumstances as offensive.

What is the Maximum Sentence for Possessing Child Abuse Material?

Section 474.23 Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) prescribes a maximum penalty of 15-years imprisonment for possessing child abuse material if you possess such material with the intention that it be used by you or another person in committing the offence of ordering and accessing the material using a carriage service, such as a computer (i.e. by ordering it online).

Defences to Possessing Child Abuse Material

Some of the defences to a charge of possessing child abuse material such as child-like sex dolls include, but not limited to the following:

  • Possessing it for the public benefit only. i.e. literary, artistic or educational merit.
  • Coming across the material accidentally where you make attempts to remove it immediately upon realising what it is.
  • Where you are acting in good faith for purposes of manufacturing, developing or updating content filtering technology.

Contact our criminal lawyers from Sydney CBD & Parramatta today to arrange a free consultation for more information on this area of criminal law.

About Jimmy Singh

Mr. Jimmy Singh is the Principal Lawyer at Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia - Australia's Leading Criminal Defence Lawyers, Delivering Exceptional Results in all Australian Courts.

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