UPDATE | A Gold Coast man accused of arranging to meet up with who he thought was a 13-year-old girl has been granted bail after fronting court.
Lucas Beatson, 42, was arrested outside a fast-food restaurant in Brisbane on Thursday where it’s alleged he had arranged to meet up with the girl.
He is accused of making contact with a social media profile last month which was actually an undercover Police officer posing as the teen.
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Police will allege Beatson sent explicit photographs and videos of himself before making arrangements for the girl to skip school and engage in sexual activity at a motel.
He is charged with one count of using the internet to procure a child under 16 with a circumstance of aggravation that he went to a place intending to meet the child and four counts of grooming a child under 16 with intent to expose to indecent matter.
The Upper Coomera mas was granted bail after appearing in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday.
The court ordered him not to access the internet as part of his bail conditions.
He will return to court on June 27.
EARLIER | A Gold Coast man has been charged with child sex offences after allegedly trying to meet up with a 13-year-old girl, who was actually an undercover detective.
The 42-year-old from Upper Coomera was arrested at a Brisbane fast food store on Thursday afternoon where he had scheduled to meet up with what he believed to be a 13-year-old girl.
Instead, he was met by detectives from Argos.
Officers began their investigation last month after the man allegedly made contact with a social media profile of an undercover Argos officer posing as the teen.
It will be alleged the man engaged in behaviour that constitutes the grooming of a child, including sending explicit photographs and videos of himself. Police will allege his behaviour escalated to making arrangements for the ‘child’ to skip school and meet him to engage in sexual activity at a local motel.
The 42-year-old man was charged with using the internet to procure a child under 16 years of age with a circumstance of aggravation that the offender went to a place with the intention of meeting the child and four counts of grooming a child under 16 years of age with intent to expose to indecent matter.
The man is due to appear at the Brisbane Magistrates Court today.
Detective Inspector Glen Donaldson of Argos said this case highlights the risk posed to children by online predators and urged parents and caregivers to take active and ongoing measures around online safety.
“Research by the Commonwealth eSafety Commissioner has identified that 1 in 4 children have been approached by a stranger online. This is extremely concerning and highlights the need for parents to be aware of their child’s online footprint and to speak with their child about online safety”, Detective Inspector Donaldson said.
“Supervision is the key to prevention, as is ongoing communication with children about how to stay safe online and the dangers of having online ‘friends’ they have never met face-to-face”.
“Every day Argos has undercover officers working in a range of online platforms to detect and apprehend people who seek to exploit children in our community.
“To those that seek to engage in this predatory behaviour, just remember that the next ‘child’ that you engage may be a member of Argos.”