Strike Force Trawler charge two men over online grooming in state’s Central West

Strike Force Trawler detectives have charged two men in the state’s Central West following separate investigations into alleged online grooming.

Last month, 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 Central Tablelands.

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

Following extensive inquiries, investigators arrested a 36-year-old man at a home in Gulgong about 8am yesterday (Wednesday 8 July 2020).

A search warrant was executed at the home, where police seized electronic storage devices.

The man was taken to Mudgee Police Station and charged with use carriage service to groom child under 16 years for sexual activity.

He was refused bail and appeared at Mudgee Local Court yesterday, where he was granted strict conditional bail to reappear at the same court on Wednesday 9 September 2020.

In a separate investigation, CEIU detectives began engaging online with a man from Dubbo in February this year.

It will be alleged in court that the man believed he was speaking with a 13-year-old girl and engaged in conversations about sexually explicit acts he wished the child to perform and sent explicit material.

Following extensive inquiries, officers attended a business at Dubbo and arrested a 47-year-old man about 8.30am today (Thursday 9 July 2020).

A short time later, a search warrant was executed at a home at Dubbo, where police seized a tablet and electronic storage devices.

The man was taken to Dubbo Police Station and charged with use carriage service to groom child under 16 years for sexual activity.

He was refused bail to appear at Dubbo Local Court today.

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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