Police charge man after investigation into online grooming – Strike Force Trawler

A man has been charged following an investigation by Strike Force Trawler detectives into alleged online grooming on the state’s Far South Coast.

In September 2019, detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crime Squad’s Child Exploitation Internet Unit (CEIU) began engaging online with a man from the state’s Far South Coast.

Police will allege in court that the man believed he was speaking with a 14-year-old girl and engaged in sexually explicit conversations about acts he wished to perform on the child and sent sexually explicit material.

Following extensive investigations, strike force detectives, with assistance from South Coast Police District and Southern Region Operation Support Group (OSG), arrested a 49-year-old man at a home in Moruya about 11am yesterday (Wednesday 20 May 2020).

Shortly after the arrest, a search warrant was executed at the home, where detectives seized a rifle, ammunition, mobile phone and laptop.

The man was taken to Batemans Bay Police Station and charged with use carriage service to groom under 16 years for sex, possess unregistered firearm, possess ammunition without holding licence/permit/authority, not keep firearm safely and possess unauthorised firearm.

He was refused bail to appear at Wollongong Local Court via AVL today (Thursday 21 May 2020).

Strike Force Trawler is an ongoing investigation by the CEIU into the sexual abuse and exploitation of children facilitated through the internet and related telecommunications devices.

Regular covert online investigations are conducted by the CEIU; and police in NSW work closely with their law-enforcement colleagues interstate and overseas.

The Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad is comprised of detectives who are specially trained to investigate matters against children and adults, including sexual assault, serious physical abuse, and extreme cases of neglect.

Anyone with concerns about the suspected abuse or exploitation of children should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.

Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. People should not report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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