Police say a 39-year-old Sydney truck driver charged with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl groomed her on social media.
The man, from Lurnea in the city’s south west, is accused of assaulting the girl multiple times both in a truck travelling from Sydney to Canberra and at his home.
Detective Superintendent John Kerlatec said it was a “concerning” case, and the pair met on a “commonly” used social media site.
“There was a level of grooming,” he said.
“I won’t say sexual grooming at this time, there was a level of befriending, and enticing the girl to meet up.
“We will allege that the sexual grooming took place after he met her.”
Det. Supt Kerlatec the man didn’t pretend to be somebody else online, however he did issue a warning to social media users that they don’t always know who they’re talking to.
“I think the warnings go quite thick and fast, that you don’t know who you’re dealing with when you meet up with people online,” he said.
“Cases do occur day in, day out, we put the warnings out, we ask users of social media to be aware, we encourage young people to be aware who they’re dealing with, parents and care-givers to pass that message on, we’re just can’t make it loud enough.”
The man was arrested at 5pm yesterday following a vehicle stop on Marco Street, Panania.
He was charged with 17 offences, including seven counts of sexual intercourse with child between 10 and 14 years, six counts of common assault, as well as two counts of both aggravated sexual intercourse with child between 10 and 14 years, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
He was refused bail to appear at Bankstown Local Court today.