Hunter man charged after grooming 13-year-old girl

A man will face court charged over the alleged online procurement of a child following an investigation by Strike Force Trawler detectives in the Lower Hunter Valley.

In March this year, detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crime Squad’s Child Exploitation Internet Unit (CEIU) began engaging online with a man from Maitland.

Police will allege in court that the man believed he was speaking with a 13-year-old girl and engaged in conversations about sex acts he wished to perform on the teenager and shared sexually explicit material with her.

It will also be alleged that the man arranged to meet the girl in person.

Following extensive inquiries, strike force detectives arrested a 36-year-old man at Waratah Railway Station about 10.10am yesterday (Tuesday 12 May 2020).

A subsequent search warrant was executed at the man’s home address, where mobile phones, tablets, a laptop and a hard drive were seized by officers.

He was taken to Waratah Police Station and charged with using a carriage service to procure person under 16 years for sexual activity.

The man was refused bail and appeared via video link at Newcastle Local Court yesterday (Tuesday 12 May 2020), and is next due to appear at the same court today (Wednesday 13 May 2020).