A 40-year-old Shoalwater man has been charged by police after he allegedly sent explicit text messages to a 14-year-old girl and arranged to have sex with her.
A joint operation between the WA Police online child exploitation squad and the Australian Federal Police resulted in the arrest of the man.
Police will allege the man’s 14-year-old daughter befriended the alleged victim after they met at a Busselton caravan park in January 2011.
The man then allegedly began sending unsolicited text messages to the victim. Despite intervention by one of the victim’s parents, the man continued to send her text messages which became sexual in nature. He then made arrangements to meet the girl for sex.
Online child exploitation squad, Det-Sen. Sgt Lindsay Garratt said emerging communications technology made children increasingly vulnerable to sexual predators.
“Offenders, predominantly men, can use social networking methods to build relationships with children to fill a social void in their life,” he said.
“Children can become an easy target. We are very pleased with the young girl who had the courage to bring her concerns to her parent and later the police and the vigilance of the parent involved in this case.”
The man was charged with seven counts of using electronic communication with intent to procure a child believed to be under 16 in sexual activity and eight counts of using electronic communication with intent to expose a child believed to be under 16 to indecent matter.He will re-appear in the Perth Magistrates Court on October 12.
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