A 47-year-old Werrington man has been charged after allegedly procuring a 14-year-old girl online for sex.
In August 2019, detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crime Squad’s Child Exploitation Internet Unit (CEIU) became aware of the situation and as part of their inquiries, began engaging online with the man.
Police will allege in court that the man believed he was speaking with a 14-year-old girl and engaged in conversations about sexually-explicit acts he wished to perform on the child.
The man, Michael Robert Amery, was arrested about 4pm yesterday at a shopping centre in Penrith.
Officers seized his mobile phone.
The man was taken to Penrith Police Station and charged with ‘use carriage service to procure under 16-years-old for sexual activity’.
He fronted Penrith Local Court this afternoon and was refused bail.
Following the arrest, detectives executed a search warrant at a home in Werrington but no further items were seized.
Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent John Kerlatec, urged parents and carers to speak with their children regularly about online safety.
“It is important to speak to your child about the dangers associated with online conversations and know what your child is doing online,” he said.
“In this instance police have been notified by the teenager’s parents, so we encourage all parents to talk to their kids about their activities online.
“If they ever encounter something or someone they are not comfortable with, they can speak to an adult they trust and who can let our investigators know.”
The arrest has occurred during National Child Protection Week, which runs from Sunday, September 1.
“This arrest is a timely reminder for all parents as it falls within National Child Protection Week. Keep an eye on how much time your child is spending on the internet, what websites they are visiting, and who they may be speaking with,” Detective Superintendent Kerlatec said.
The Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad is comprised of detectives who are specially trained to investigate matters against children and adults, including sexual assault, serious physical abuse, and extreme cases of neglect.
Anyone with concerns about suspected child abuse or exploitation should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
For more information and educational packages for parents and children, visit ThinkUKnow at: https://www.thinkuknow.org.au.
A graduate of Western Sydney University, Nicola Barton is a news journalist with the Western Weekender, primarily covering crime and politics.