NSW man sentenced for grooming children online

Child_Exploitation

A Central Coast man has been sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for soliciting sexually explicit photos from teenage boys.

The Umina Beach man, 24, was arrested in November 2021, following a report from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding an online user requesting conversations with children.

Officers from the AFP Child Protection Operations team and the New South Wales Police Force Child Exploitation Internet Unit executed a search warrant at the man’s home. Further information about the investigation can be found here.

The man pleaded guilty to:

  • Using a carriage service to procure person under 16 years of age, contrary to section 474.26(3) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • Using carriage service to groom another person to make it easier to procure a person under 16 years of age, contrary to section 474.27AA(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
  • Possess child abuse material, contrary to section 91H(2) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)

AFP Detective Acting Inspector Navi Pandher said offenders used a variety of apps and social media platforms to contact potential victims online.

“That’s why it’s so important that parents and carers are talking to their kids about online safety. It’s crucial for adults to be aware of what platforms and apps their children are using and who they may be talking to online,” Detective Acting Inspector Pandher said.

“By fostering a supportive and open environment, children who have been targeted by offenders will feel safe telling their parents and guardians. By doing so, action can be taken to prevent further harm to that child and potentially other children too.”

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