Wauchope man charged for alleged online child exploitation

Strike Force Trawler detectives have charged a man over the alleged grooming of a child online.

In March 2019, detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad's Child Exploitation Internet Unit (CEIU) began engaging online with a man on the Mid North Coast.

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

Following extensive investigations, strike force detectives arrested a man in Wauchope just before 2.30pm yesterday, Thursday May 16.

Shortly after, detectives executed a search warrant at a home in Wauchope, where they seized a mobile phone, a laptop and electronic storage devices. These items will undergo forensic examination.

The man was taken to Port Macquarie Police Station, where he was charged with using a carriage service to groom a person under 16 years of age.

He was granted strict conditional bail and is due to appear at Port Macquarie Local Court on Wednesday June 5.

Strike Force Trawler is an ongoing investigation by the CEIU into the sexual abuse and exploitation of children facilitated through the internet and related telecommunications devices.

Regular covert online investigations are conducted by the CEIU; and police in NSW work closely with their law-enforcement colleagues interstate and overseas.

Anyone with information about internet predators should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page nsw.crimestoppers.com.au

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