A convicted sex offender tried to grab a 15-year-old girl after she declined his sexual advances, warning her not to ‘‘tell the other girls’’ when she managed to escape, Wollongong Local Court has heard.
A Berkeley man, who cannot be legally named because he is on the child protection register, is accused of procuring the teen for sex, telling her he wanted to ‘‘kiss her from head to toe’’ and offering to pay her to be his girlfriend.
The 44-year-old was placed on the register in 2005 after he was convicted of assaulting a minor.
Opposing the man’s bid for bail yesterday, prosecutor Sergeant Seleena Gillmore said there was a need to protect children and the wider community.
Police claim the man approached the teen about 2pm on Thursday while she was at a Berkeley park with friends.
It is alleged he spoke to the girl before asking her to accompany him to the nearby fish and chip shop.
When the teen walked off with him, the man allegedly asked her to be his girlfriend, admitting he was ‘‘a lot older’’.
The girl refused but the man then allegedly offered to pay her: ‘‘I’ll give you $50 a week; I’ll even give you my whole pay cheque.’’
The teen again refused and told the man she was returning to her friends.
Police claim he then started repeatedly telling the girl she was ‘‘gorgeous’’, revealing that he wanted to ‘‘kiss her all over from her head to her toes.’’
When the terrified teen warned him she was going back to her friends, he allegedly reached out and tried to grab her arm.
She managed to escape as the man allegedly winked at her and said: ‘‘Don’t tell the other girls.’’
The teen later reported the incident to her mother who immediately contacted police.
The man was arrested on Thursday night and charged with procuring a child for unlawful sexual activity.
He allegedly initially denied being at the Berkeley shops but later told police he ‘‘may have been over there’’.
Defence solicitor Tim McKenzie said his client would be subject to significant scrutiny on bail, given his position on the child protection registry, and noted he had strong ties to the area.
Mr McKenzie said the man had a stable residence, would agree to avoid the Berkeley CBD and would report to police. Magistrate Michael Stoddart refused bail, citing the need to protect children and adjourned the matter to April 10.