An Australian soldier has used social media in an attempt to lure a minor girl into sex, a court in northern Queensland has heard.
- The 33-year-old soldier was charged with child sexual abuse
- The ADF sergeant was arrested in Townsville on a search warrant
- It is said that the man used social media to engage in sexual acts with a minor girl
The 33-year-old was arrested after police on Thursday executed a search warrant at a Murray address in Townsville.
The man was charged with three counts of indecent treatment of a child under the age of 16, possession of material on the exploitation of children and use of the Internet to provide children under the age of 16.
It has been alleged that the Australian Defense Forces (ADF) sergeant committed offenses against the teenage girl in Townsville between March and June this year.
The court heard the Queensland man contacted the 14-year-old girl via Instagram and gave her money in exchange for sexually explicit images and actions.
An exchange of messages between the couple was read out in court, asking him to keep their relationship a secret.
“The defendant says to the victim, ‘no one can ever figure this out.’
The victim / child responds “yes, I understand that because you may have problems”.
“The defendant tells the victim that she could get into just as many 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 cell phones, tablets and storage devices.
In a statement, the Defense said that “the charges against the soldier are taken very seriously and are in complete conflict with the values of the Australian Defense Forces”.
When he rejected his bail application on Friday, Judge Steven Mosh said the charges were “unusually serious”.
“One can deduce that some sexual activity had already taken place where attempts were made to engage the complainant in further sexual activity,” he said.
Judge Mosh said the 33-year-old had not cooperated with police in declaring other accounts on social media.
The soldier is due to face trial again in late August.