Man accused of using Facebook to lure girl, 14, for sex

A GLADSTONE man has been accused of grooming a 14-year-old girl over Facebook then meeting her late at night in a park to have sex.

The 20-year-old man has been committed to stand trial in the Gladstone District Court on five counts.

The first alleges he unlawfully had carnal knowledge of a child aged under 16 on a date between November 1 and November 30 last year.

The other four unlawful carnal knowledge charges include a date between November 30, 2014 and February 22, and on February 23, March 12, and March 16.

The man was committed to stand trial by Gladstone magistrate Penelope Hay, who also granted him conditional bail to live at home with his parents.

Prosecutor Sgt Pepe Gangemi said the man used the social media platform in an attempt to procure a child aged under 16 to engage in sexual acts.

Sgt Gangemi lodged police documentation and evidence with the court that included a list of potential witnesses, the assumed online identity of the accused, his Facebook account, messages between the girl and the accused, and location photos where the alleged offences occurred.

Police did not oppose bail as long as strict conditions were in place, including the man not use any social media and not contact the girl.

Sgt Gangemi said allegations were that the man and the girl had been meeting up after 10pm at night in a park, setting up their meetings via mobile phones and social media.

Because it was difficult for police to monitor the man's use of social media, Sgt Gangemi said it was important that the night curfew be in place.

He said it had been in use since the man's arrest and included late night visits to the home by police officers to ensure his compliance.

However, defence lawyer Jun Pepito said the family objected to uniformed police coming to their home and disturbing their sleep.

The late night visits were causing the man's mother "significant health issues".

Mr Pepito sought that instead of police, staff from the Child Protection Investigation Unit do any visits, but only if they had strong reason to believe the man was not being compliant.

Ms Hay continued the curfew and said although the police were only doing their job, she ordered that CPIU staff now do any home visits, but only if they formed a reasonable suspicion of a breach.

The man is allowed to leave the house during the curfew hours if in the company of a parent.



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