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Australian man first to be charged under new laws for possessing child-like sex doll

A South Australian man has become the first person to be charged for possessing a child-like sex doll under new laws which came into force in 2019.

Courtroom Source: istock.com

It is alleged the 30-year-old from the state's southeast also bought a range of children's clothes including schools uniforms, swimwear and underwear.

During a raid on his home on Tuesday, police seized the anatomically-correct doll and clothing, along with a computer, mobile phone and bank card.

The man was charged with possessing a child-like sex doll, importing the doll and possessing child abuse material accessed using a carriage service.

His arrest followed a two-month investigation by the SA Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team, with intelligence from NSW police, Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and PayPal Australia.

The man bought the doll from China in December 2018, police say.

He is facing a jail term of up to 15 years, after the South Australian and federal governments both banned the lifelike dolls last year.

AFP Acting Commander South Australia Gail McClure said the dolls objectified children and could desensitise buyers to the harm caused by sexual abuse.

"Some dolls are even robotic and designed to respond positively to the abuse," she said.

"The Australian Federal Police does not condone any form of child exploitation, or activity of any kind that reinforces the sexualisation of children.

"This includes sexual gratification activity using items depicting children - these anatomically correct dolls are legally considered child exploitation material."

Research from the Australian Institute of Criminology found that use of the dolls may lead to an escalation in sex offending against children.

The man was granted bail and is expected to face Naracoorte Magistrates Court in March.