BY THEREDNOW STAFF
The Australian government is pushing to introduce mandatory minimum sentences for child sexual abusers who commit crimes on the federal level.
The Coalition has tabled new legislation to parliament that could see pedophiles jailed for life.
The bill would also limit courts granting bail to repeat offenders.
Attorney-General Christian Porter said 40 percent of people convicted of federal crimes related to child sexual abuse spent no time behind bars in 2019. He added that there are too many occasions of pedophiles being released into the community without any protections.
“Sexual crimes against children destroy lives,” he said.
The proposed legislation is expected to pass through parliament and wouldn’t apply to people under the age of 18.
Labor has voiced its opposition to the idea of mandatory minimum sentences, however concedes it won’t stand in the way of this particular bill. Opposition leader Anthony Albanese said his party is willing to help ‘any way possible’ to stamp out child sexual abuse.
The law would only be attributed to people who commit federal crimes, which include child sexual abuse offences online or overseas.
Each state and territory has different parameters for similar offences, meaning the mandatory minimum sentences couldn’t be rolled out across the country for a state-based law.
Attached to the federal legislation would be new offences, which would make it a crime to administer websites that distribute child sex abuse material. Similarly, people who subject a child to cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment, or which causes a child to die, would also fall under the new laws.
The Australian Federal Police recently made several arrests across Australia in connection to a large child-exploitation ring. Forty charges have been laid against the nine men, who are accused of filming, photographing and sharing online explicit material.
At least 14 children were removed from harmful situations and the AFP expects to make even more arrests.
Assistant Commissioner Lesa Gale said their investigation was the ‘most horrific’ child-exploitation ring uncovered in Australia to date.
“Operation Arkstone has shaken some of our most seasoned officers,” Assistant Commissioner Gale said. “A total of 40 charges have been laid, with three of the men facing life imprisonment.
“The victims are getting younger and younger [and] this type of offending is becoming more violent and brazen. It takes a network to break a network and to this end, we want to thank our police partners.”