A man will appear in court today charged with 21 child abuse offences following an investigation by Strike Force Trawler detectives into alleged online child exploitation in the state’s Hunter Region.
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 Hunter Region.
Police will allege in court that the man believed he was speaking with the 37-year-old mother of a nine-year-old girl and engaged in sexually explicit conversations about acts he wished to perform on the child.
It will be further alleged that the man also believed he was speaking with a 14-year-old girl and engaged in conversations about sex acts he wished to perform on the teenager.
Following extensive investigations, strike force detectives arrested the 34-year-old man at a home in the Hunter Region just after 11am yesterday (Thursday 30 April 2020).
Shortly after the arrest, a search warrant was executed at the home, where detectives seized a mobile phone and electronic storage devices.
The man was taken to Muswellbrook Police Station and charged with 21 offences including;
- use carriage service to groom under 16 years for sex,
- use carriage service transmit/publish/promote child abuse (x19),
- possess child abuse material.
He has been refused bail to appear at Newcastle Local Court today (Friday 1 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.
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