29 May 2024

Woman who took child abuse material showing 1000 victims to police avoids jail

| Albert McKnight
woman walking to court

Chelsea Amalia Crivici when she appeared in court in 2023. Photo: Albert McKnight.

CONTENT WARNING: This article refers to child abuse.

A woman whose Tinder match sent or gave her child abuse material that portrayed about 1000 victims avoided being sent to jail when she was sentenced, although her co-offender had to serve over nine months’ behind bars.

Chelsea Amalia Crivici pleaded guilty to possessing child exploitation material as well as using a carriage service to possess and transmit child abuse material before she was sentenced by the ACT Supreme Court.

Justice Chrissa Loukas-Karlsson said she wanted to note from the start that the 29-year-old had helped law enforcement authorities.

“Specifically, in April 2022, the offender called police to inform them of the existence of this material in her possession and that of the co-offender. This is a significant matter in relation to the sentencing of this offender,” she said.

Crivici met her co-offender, Peter Henderson, on the dating application Tinder in 2020 before they later moved their conversation to WhatsApp from 2021 to 2022.

During this time, he sent her 68 files of child abuse material via WhatsApp, but she also sent 11 such files to him. In addition, she sent him text-based child abuse material, which discussed the rape of children.

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But in April 2022, Crivici went to police and told them Henderson had sent her the child abuse material found on her mobile phone via WhatsApp, and he had also given her an external hard drive containing 2178 files of such material.

During an interview, she told police she called them because she had been “very uncomfortable for a really long time”.

“At first, he would send me things on WhatsApp, and I would ignore them, but there were definitely times that I sent stuff back – I was just really lonely,” she said.

“The only material I sent to him would have been stuff he sent to me that I sent back.

“I kept the hard drive that he gave me as evidence but I never accessed it myself.”

Justice Loukas-Karlsson said the child abuse material included “highly depraved material”, and most of the depicted victims were between one and 10 years old. Also, over 1000 victims were in the material.

She said Crivici, who previously worked as a nurse at the Alexander Maconochie Centre, was asked in court why she “hung on” to the material.

“I didn’t really know what to do because, like, I knew that it was horrific, but … I just didn’t want to ruin someone’s life before I … had wrapped my head around it,” she said.

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Crivici also claimed that when media reported on her charges, her mother changed the locks on the family home and told her to change her surname. She also claimed that antisocial individuals were the only people who could associate with her after her charges were publicised.

Henderson, a musician who has played in several bands, pleaded guilty to charges of using a carriage service to transmit and possess child abuse material.

He was sentenced to two years and four months in jail, but when he successfully appealed in February 2024, he was told he would be released after serving nine months and 14 days.

Due to Crivici’s plea and her assistance to authorities, she was sentenced to one year and three months’ jail, fully suspended for an 18-month good behaviour-related order.

Anyone impacted by sexual, domestic or family violence can contact 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or Full Stop Australia on 1800 385 578. Local support services include the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre on 6247 2525, the Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS) on 6280 0900, and Victim Support ACT on 1800 822 272 or 6205 2022. You can report a sexual assault by attending an ACT Policing station in person, calling 000 in an emergency or 131 444 for police assistance, or online if the sexual assault occurred more than six months ago.

If this reporting has raised mental health concerns for you, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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