Aust rugby player to appear in LA court

Peter Mitchell, AAP US Correspondent
AAP

A Melbourne rugby union player facing life in a US prison for the attempted sex trafficking of a child is expected to make a bid for freedom when he appears before a Los Angeles judge.

Michael Quinn, 33, has been in custody since US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested him last weekend during an undercover operation at an LA hotel.

He is scheduled to appear before US District Court judge Karen Stevenson in a downtown LA courtroom on Friday (Saturday AEST) for a bail hearing.

Quinn, a Monash University-educated geneticist who worked at a Melbourne IVF clinic, allegedly arranged with an undercover agent to have sex with a six-year-old boy for $US250.

US authorities set up a sting in an LA hotel room and when Quinn handed over more than the agreed amount - $US260 ($A360) - they raided the room and arrested the Australian, according to the criminal complaint.

Quinn had allegedly snuck away from a Hollywood Hills home he was staying at with teammates from his Melbourne rugby squad.

They had stopped in Los Angeles before planning to fly to Nashville, Tennessee, for this week's Bingham Cup, a rugby tournament honouring September 11 hero and pioneer of gay rugby clubs, Mark Bingham.

Quinn was charged with attempted sex trafficking of a minor, which carries a minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum of life without parole.

He was also charged with one count of travelling to the US for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, which carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.