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Australian man jailed over possession of AI-generated child abuse material

“Hundreds of files” of child abuse material were found on a Tasmanian man’s personal computer, leading to a two-year jail sentence.

user icon David Hollingworth
Tue, 02 Apr 2024
Australian man jailed over possession of AI-generated child abuse material
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A Tasmanian man has been given a two-year jail sentence over possession of AI-generated child abuse material.

The 48-year-old man was arrested in 2023 after a 1 May 2023 search of his Gravelly Beach home following reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

According to the reports, an Australia-based user had been observed downloading the material from both a social media platform and a website.

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Members of a Tasmania Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team – formed of Tasmania Police and the Australian Federal Police – identified the man, and a later examination of his computer revealed “hundreds” of images of child abuse material, much of it AI-generated.

AFP Detective Sergeant Aaron Hardcastle said this incident was the first of its kind in Tasmania.

“Child abuse material is still child abuse material no matter what form it takes,” Detective Sergeant Hardcastle said.

“People may not be aware that online simulations, fantasy, text-based stories, animations and cartoons, including artificial intelligence-generated content depicting child sexual abuse, are all still considered child abuse material under Commonwealth legislation.

“Whether the image is AI-generated or depicts a real child victim, the material is repulsive, and the Tasmania JACET Team, along with the AFP and its law enforcement partners, will continue to identify and locate those sharing this abhorrent content and put them before the courts.”

The man pleaded guilty to two offences on 10 October 2023 – possession of child abuse material obtained using a carriage service and using a carriage service to access child abuse material.

The man was sentenced to two years in jail on 30 March 2024, with a 10-month non-parole period.

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