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Facebook predator acted as friend to target girl, 13

A SHARP-eye dad may have saved his daughter from the clutches of a sexual predator when he confronted her after noticing her Facebook activity.

In Grafton Local Court yesterday a man was facing two charges of indecent assault of a girl aged under 16 and one of procuring a child for unlawful sexual activity. The man has pleaded not guilty to all three charges.

Due to strict non-publication orders protecting the identity of the victim, it is not possible to publish many details of the offences or the name of the accused.

The prosecution case consisted of a series of DVDs of interviews with the victim at two different locations over two days.

During the interviews the then 13-year-old girl described how she made contact with the accused during a social occasion in 2013 and requested he become a Facebook "friend".

She told how the accused had initially used his own name for his Facebook profile, but later created another false name to continue the relationship.

The girl said the accused told her he had done this because he was worried there would be questions asked about the relationship if he used his real name.

On the DVDs the investigators read some posts the accused is alleged to have made where he talks about his special relationship with the girl, how he loves her and how he longed to hold her.

The transcripts also reveal the accused was worried about being discovered and always demanded the girl clear Facebook messages after each session.

He had also sent the girl a picture of a mobile phone, which he promised to give her. He never handed over the phone.

It appeared the Facebook contact continued over several months and plans were afoot which might have meant more face-to-face contact with the accused and the girl.

The court heard the girl's father had noticed a conversation between the accused and the girl on the family's laptop computer and demanded to know what was going on.

Police were alerted and an investigation into the matter began.

The defence will begin its case today.

 

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