A 57-year-old Orange man who allegedly tried to groom a 14-year-old girl has been charged after the person he was talking to turned out to be police.
Child Abuse and Sex Crime Squad's Child Exploitation Internet Unit detectives began engaging online with a man from Orange in May.
Police will allege in court that the man believed he was speaking with a 14-year-old girl and engaged in sexually explicit conversations about acts he wished to perform with the child.
Following extensive inquiries, strike force detectives arrested the 57-year-old man at a home at Orange about 11.40am on Wednesday, June 16.
A search warrant was subsequently executed at the home, where detectives seized a mobile phone. The man was taken to Orange Police Station and charged with one count of use carriage service to groom person under 16 years for sex.
He was granted strict conditional bail to Orange Local Court on Monday, July 26.
Three other men, from Sans Souci, Paddington and Sydney's south west were also charged in relation to separate online grooming cases.
Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad Commander, detective acting superintendent Chris Goddard, said the incidents are a timely reminder for parents and carers to speak with young people about potential dangers online.
"For young people, any online platform that allows them to be in contact with others that they do not know - and have only met in the online environment - can put them at risk," Detective acting superintendent Goddard said.
"From a police perspective, our priority is protecting children from any type of harm, and we will always utilise every resource at our disposal to locate anyone who uses the internet to groom children.
"While social media apps allow us to be better connected with people we know, they also provide opportunity for people we don't know to connect with us - and this includes strangers talking to our children.
"With school holidays drawing closer, we want to remind the community to have regular conversations with children about their activities online and how they can keep themselves safe."
So far this year, investigators from the Child Abuse and Sex Crime Squad's Child Exploitation Internet Unit have executed 27 search warrants and arrested 26 people for 95 offences.
More information can be accessed via the eSafety website: https://www.esafety.gov.au/
Educational packages for parents and children are available from ThinkUKnow, a multi-agency program designed to educate and promote cyber safety: https://www.thinkuknow.org.au/
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