News

Man poses as girl to lure kids

A BLACKSTONE man has been charged after his alleged "very sexualised engagement" with a child on a social networking site.

Police will allege the 42-year-old posed online as a 13-year-old girl in order to lure children.

He is among seven alleged child sex offenders charged after Queensland police raids this week.

Charged on June 3 with two counts of using the internet to procure children under 16, and two counts of possessing child exploitation material, he has since received bail.

Detective Inspector Jon Rouse said the man's case was especially worrying because it concerned a real child.

"It becomes most concerning when we see very sexualised engagement with a child," Det Insp Rouse said.

"He was posing as a 13-year-old girl... and he had set up his social networking site with a number of photographs of the same child.

"In chat on the social networking site, he progressively and aggressively switched the conversation to a sexualised context and then endeavoured to get the child to send photos of herself to him.

"Fortunately the parents advised us of what was going on and we intervened before a meeting happened."

The man had tried to contact many other children, he said.

"In this particular instance, the offender was targeting literally hundreds of Queensland children - spamming them, if you like, with friend requests."

He is due to appear in Ipswich Magistrates Court on June 19.

Det Insp Rouse said he was concerned by a rise in offences from social networking sites.

"We are now regularly identifying and arresting people that create online accounts and pose as 11- to 13-year-old boys and girls to befriend other young children," he said.

Topics:  child sex, crime, internet, ipswich, ipswich magistrates court, police, social media



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