A MAN accused of grooming a 15-year-old girl online and meeting her in Newcastle to have sex has been refused bail in Toronto Local Court.
Kieron O'Donoghue, 35, was arrested at Valentine on Monday and later appeared in court charged with 14 offences, including nine counts of having sexual intercourse with a person aged between 14 and 16 years, groom a child for unlawful sexual activity and travel to meet child groomed for sexual activity.
He did not enter any pleas and was refused bail by Magistrate Alan Railton until the matter returns to court on October 30.
Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad detectives say they launched an investigation last week after a 15-year-old girl reported she had been sexually and indecently assaulted by a man she met online last month.
Police allege the pair met on a social media application designed for teenagers, where the man claimed to be 17-years-old.
Police say the pair engaged in conversation before arranging to meet in person.
The man later told the girl he was 27, police say.
The pair allegedly met in Newcastle on September 29 and had sex.
The girl reported the incident to police last week and the matter was referred to the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad for further investigation.
After making inquiries, detectives arrested Mr O'Donoghue at a unit at Valentine about 7am on Monday.
Shortly after, investigators searched the unit, before also raiding a home at Whitebridge.
Police say that, during the searches, they seized a number of items relevant to the investigation.
The alleged incident has prompted police to repeat warnings and safety tips for parents and children about using the internet.
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