2LT Local News

Blue Mountains man appears in court on child exploitation charges

Jan 12, 2021

KATOOMBA, Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia – A 42-year-old Katoomba man appeared in Penrith Local Court on Tuesday in relation to allegations he impersonated a much younger person in interacting with a child online while engaging in sexually explicit conversations.

The Australian Federal Police say they received a report from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in September last year regarding an Australian user of Pinterest lying about his age when interacting with children online.

Police enquiries identified a 42-year-old Katoomba man associated with the account and on Monday executed a search warrant at his home.

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 of indecent communications with a person under 16 years.

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 Tuesday.

“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,” the detective sergeant added.