A teenage mother from Melbourne filmed herself performing sexual acts with her infant daughter and sent the footage to someone in the United Kingdom, a court has heard.
The man in the UK is accused of blackmailing young women into filming pornography by threatening to send intimate pictures to family and friends.
The 18-year-old Melbourne woman was released on bail on Friday and ordered not to go near her child after a children’s court hearing, in which details of the case were revealed.
Her parents were in court and became emotional when explicit details of the allegations were read out by an Australian Federal Police agent.
The teenager is facing four charges – including sexual penetration of a child, and producing and transmitting child pornography.
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The agent said the young woman, who was 17 at the time, was communicating with a man in the UK via the messaging application WhatsApp.
Police had a “strong case” against the teenager, the agent said.
The teenager was tracked down and arrested on Wednesday after an analysis of a WhatsApp profile linked to the UK man, who was recently arrested by British authorities.
“[She] sent pictures of herself to him,” the agent said.
“[He] became aware that [she] was the mother… requests that she carry out sexual acts with the child.”
The young woman had never been in trouble with police before and her lawyer said it had been a “shock” to spend two nights in custody.
“She is somewhat overwhelmed,” the defence lawyer said.
In the dock, the teenager shed tears as she was bailed on strict conditions, including a ban on internet use.
“You can’t go on Facebook. You can’t go on Snapchat. You can’t Google things,” the magistrate said.
The magistrate also made an intervention order to keep the young woman away from her daughter, warning her of serious consequences if it was breached.
“It is a really serious order and it must be taken seriously,” the magistrate said.
Prosecutors had opposed bail, citing risks she could potentially destroy evidence linked to her phone, which has not yet been forensically examined.
But the magistrate believed the risks of the teenager’s release were manageable.
The teenager is due to return to court on April 2.
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