State records first AI child porn conviction

A Tasmanian man has been sentenced to two years in jail for child abuse material-related charges. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Andrew Henshaw

A Tasmanian man has been sentenced to two years in jail for uploading and downloading AI-generated child abuse material.

The 48-year-old was charged with posessing hundreds of files of child abuse material as part of a Tasmania Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (TAS-JACET) investigation.

Included among the files was a significant amount of AI-generated content.

The man pled guilty to two charges. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Andrew Henshaw

The Gravelly Beach man was subsequently arrested and charged, pleading guilty to possessing and accessing child abuse material on March 26, 2024.

The Australian Federal Police said it is believed to be the first conviction in Tasmania’s history relating to child exploitation material generated by AI.

AFP Detective Sergeant Aaron Hardcastle said the investigation had been significant as it marked the first time police had located and seized AI-generated child abuse material in Tasmania.

“Child abuse material, is still child abuse material, no matter what form it takes,” Det. Sgt 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.

He was found in possession of hundreds of illicit digital files. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Andrew Henshaw

“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.”

Members of the public who have information about people involved in child abuse are urged to contact the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation.

If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on triple-0.

If you or someone you know is impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation, support services are available.