The man was arrested on Tuesday afternoon after being located coaching a local children’s sporting team on the Gold Coast.
A search warrant was executed at his Coomera residence where devices were seized for forensic examination.
The investigation began on May 31 after a referral from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in America.
It will be alleged that the man was in possession of several hundred Gigabytes of child exploitation material and had been involved in a range of online secure messaging platforms sharing images with other child sex offenders.
The 21-year-old man was charged with five counts of possessing child exploitation material, three counts of using a carriage service to access child abuse material and two counts of using a carriage service to make available child abuse material.
The man has been released on strict bail conditions and is due to appear at the Beenleigh Magistrates Court on June 30.
It has been identified that the man was a volunteer who was working with children for a number of organisations. Police have contacted the organisations and are working with management to identify the extent of his involvement with children. At this time there is no evidence that the man has offended against any child, but investigations remain ongoing.
Detective Inspector Glen Donaldson of the Child Abuse and Sexual Crime Group’s unit Argos said this case highlights the importance of parents and caregivers taking active and ongoing measures around the safety of their children.
“Supervision and communication are key to prevention. We encourage parents and guardians to speak with their children about what to do if they feel uncomfortable about any behaviour and how they can report that behaviour.” Detective Inspector Donaldson said.
“Children must know that nothing is so serious or embarrassing that they can’t approach a trusted adult for support and to report behaviour that makes them feel uncomfortable.”
“The Queensland Police Service remains committed to targeting offenders involved in the sexual exploitation of children and the possession or distribution of child exploitation material. This is not a victimless crime. These images have been created through the abuse of real children and anyone involved in possessing or distributing these images continues this cycle of victimisation”.
“Every day Argos has undercover officers working in a range of online platforms to detect and apprehend people who seek to trade in these horrific images”.
“To those that seek to engage in this predatory behaviour, remember that everything you do online leaves a trace and the Queensland Police Service are relentless in targeting anyone involved in this crime”.
Resources and advice
- eSafety Commissioner a key partner of the QPS in enhancing online safety, with a comprehensive suite of information, resources and reporting tools to ensure children have a safe experience online.
- Who’s chatting to your kids? Further QPS advice and information about reducing online risks for children.
- Out of the dark #doiknowu a campaign by the Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC) supported by the QPS and Department of Education, providing resources to help young people stay safe online.
- Think U Know is a partnership between Australian Federal Police, Commonwealth Bank, Datacom, Microsoft, State and Territory Police and Neighbourhood Watch. It provides information on topics including sexting, cyber bullying, online child exploitation, online privacy, and what to do when something goes wrong.