NSW man charged with grooming a person to engage in sexual activity with child

ABF officers examined the man's mobile phone and allegedly found conversations discussing child abuse as well as child abuse material.

A Lurnea man is expected to appear in Parramatta Local Court today (13 January 2024) charged with child abuse offences after allegedly grooming someone in an attempt to engage with sexual activity with a child.

The man, 59, was stopped by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers yesterday (12 January 2024) for a baggage examination after arriving in Sydney from the Philippines.

ABF officers examined the man’s mobile phone and allegedly found conversations discussing child abuse as well as child abuse material. The matter was referred to the AFP.

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AFP officers interviewed the man and he allegedly admitted to engaging in the conversations.

The man was arrested and refused bail.

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Nicole Kenny said the AFP, along with its law enforcement partners, remained committed to protecting children.

“Anyone who views this material is committing a crime. Our message to online offenders has not changed – if you procure, access and transmit child abuse material, you will be found, arrested and prosecuted. ”

D a/Superintendent Nicole Kenny observed:

“Whether the victim is in Australia or overseas – the AFP and its partners will work to keep our society’s most vulnerable – our children – safe from anyone who seeks to do them harm. This investigation remains ongoing and the AFP will work with international partners to help protect Australian children.”

ABF Acting Superintendent, Regional Investigations (NSW), Michael Mahony said ABF officers played a critical role at the border to protect the community, which included detecting and stopping the importation of illegal and abhorrent digital material featuring child victims both within Australia and abroad.

“We are dedicated to ensuring people seeking to deliberately import child abuse material into Australia are caught and will face the full consequences of their actions.”

A/g Supt Mohony said:

“ABF will continue to work closely with the Australian Federal Police and other law enforcement agencies, both locally and overseas, to detect and disrupt individuals that seek to import child abuse material.”

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The man was charged with:

  • One count of “grooming” a person to make it easier to engage in sexual activity with a child outside Australia contrary to section 272.15A(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth); and
  • Two counts of using a carriage service to solicit child abuse material contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(iv) of the Criminal Code (Cth).

The maximum penalty for the offences is 15 years imprisonment.

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