An Australian soldier used social media to try to lure an underage girl into sex, a North Queensland court heard.
- The 33-year-old soldier has been charged with child sex offenses
- ADF Sergeant was arrested in Townsville following a search warrant
- It is alleged that the man used social media to engage in sexual acts with an underage girl
The 33-year-old was arrested after police executed a search warrant at a Murray address in Townsville on Thursday.
The man was charged with three counts of indecent treatment of a child under the age of 16, possession of child exploitation material and using the internet to procure children under the age of 16. 16 years old.
It has been alleged that the Australian Defense Force (ADF) sergeant committed offenses against the teenager in Townsville between March and June this year.
The court heard the Queensland man made contact with the 14-year-old via Instagram and gave her money in exchange for sexually explicit images and acts.
An exchange of messages between the couple was read out in court where they asked to keep their relationship a secret.
“The defendant tells the victim that ‘no one will ever be able to find out.’
The victim/child responds “yes, I understand because you could get in trouble”.
“The defendant tells the victim that she could be in so much trouble because she accepted his money.”
The court heard the man had multiple social media accounts and a police search of the address revealed a number of mobile phones, tablets and storage devices.
In a statement, the Defense said “the allegations against the soldier are taken very seriously and are completely at odds with the values of the Australian Defense Force”.
Denying his bail request today, Magistrate Steven Mosh said the allegations were ‘exceptionally serious’.
“One could infer that some sexual activity had already taken place, with attempts to engage the complainant in further sexual activity,” he said.
Magistrate Mosh said the 33-year-old had not cooperated with police in reporting other social media accounts.
The soldier will return to court at the end of August.