Police charge man for online grooming in Hunter Valley – Strike Force Trawler

A man will face court charged over the alleged online procurement of a child following an investigation by Strike Force Trawler detectives in the Lower Hunter Valley.

In March this year, detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crime Squad’s Child Exploitation Internet Unit (CEIU) began engaging online with a man from Maitland.

Police will allege in court that the man believed he was speaking with a 13-year-old girl and engaged in conversations about sex acts he wished to perform on the teenager and shared sexually explicit material with her.

It will also be alleged that the man arranged to meet the girl in person.

Following extensive inquiries, strike force detectives arrested a 36-year-old man at Waratah Railway Station about 10.10am yesterday (Tuesday 12 May 2020).

A subsequent search warrant was executed at the man’s home address, where mobile phones, tablets, a laptop and a hard drive were seized by officers.

He was taken to Waratah Police Station and charged with using a carriage service to procure person under 16 years for sexual activity.

The man was refused bail and appeared via video link at Newcastle Local Court yesterday (Tuesday 12 May 2020), and is next due to appear at the same court today (Wednesday 13 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 suspected child abuse or exploitation 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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