A 42-year-old Katoomba man is due to face Penrith Local Court today following an Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigation into a social media user engaging in sexually explicit conversations with a child.
The AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a report from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in September 2020 regarding an Australian user of Pintrest lying about his age when interacting with children online.
Police enquiries identified a 42-year-old Katoomba man associated with the account and yesterday (11 January 2021) executed a search warrant at his residence.
Investigators seized several electronic devices at the scene for further forensic examination, including a mobile phone and two tablet computers.
The man was charged with two counts using a carriage service to transmit indecent communications with a person under 16 years, contrary to section 474.27A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).
The maximum penalty for this offence is 10 years imprisonment.
AFP Detective Sergeant Jarryd Dunbar said parents and carers need to be aware of the risks of unsupervised children accessing the internet.
“Any website that enables users to interact freely with one another is a platform that offenders can use to groom children,” Detective Sergeant Dunbar said.
“Parents, you must talk to your children about these risks and foster a relationship where your child feels comfortable telling you who they are speaking to online. This way, if a predator does reach out to your child, you can take steps to make sure they are safe and report the matter to police to prevent further offending.”