Sex predator charged at Parramatta hotel

A man who allegedly used social media to lure what he believed was an 11-year-old girl and her mother to a Parramatta hotel in 2013 was charged yesterday after a covert sex crimes squad operation.

In November 2013, detectives began a covert investigation on a social networking site. Police allege a man made a number of sexually explicit comments about a so-called 11-year-old girl and organised to meet the girl and her mother at a Parramatta hotel.

About 1pm yesterday, the 26-year-old man arrived at the hotel and was arrested by detectives and taken to Parramatta police station.

He was charged with using a carriage service for child pornography, incitement to commit a sexual offence and failing to comply with child protection register conditions.

He was refused bail to appear in court today.

Police are urging parents and children to be mindful of the dangers of online grooming.

Safe internet use – tips for parents:

• Be aware of how much time your child spends on the internet.

• Spend time talking to your child about the dangers associated with online conversations.

• Spend time exploring the Internet with your children and let them teach you about their favourite websites.

• Keep the computer in a room the whole family can access; not in your child's bedroom.

• Consider installing filtering and/or computer blocking software provided by your internet service provider. The Netalert web page provides information on a number of commercially-available products at www.netalert.net.au.

• Ensure you are able to access your child's email and randomly check the contents.

• Check your phone bill for unusual outgoing calls, or consider using a 'caller ID' device to identify incoming calls.

• Consult your telephone company for options designed to ensure privacy and security.

• Enquire with your child's school, public library, and places they frequent, to find out what internet safety measures they have in place.

• Information on internet safety is available on the NSW Police website at: http://www.police.nsw.gov.au/community_issues/children/child_exploitation

Tips for children:

• Do not send a picture of yourself to anyone you don't know and never place a full profile and picture anywhere on the internet.

• Never give out your personal information, including name, home address, phone number or school, over the internet.

• Never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone you have chatted with on the internet.

• Tell your parents or another adult you know of any contact that makes you feel uncomfortable.

• Remember that pressing ‘send’ is definite and final – you can’t get it back or take it down.

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