Police have recorded a 52-year-old Wollongong man’s alleged attempts to procure a 14-year-old girl for sex, after officers posed as the teen on a chat site.
Steven Don Flynn allegedly tried to convince the girl to take a two-hour train trip to meet him in a motel room.
Police claim he struck up an online conversation with the girl on June 12 and repeatedly proposed sex, despite several reminders that she was aged 14. He told her he was 42 and said she was “cute”. He allegedly asked if she had a boyfriend and said he was looking for a “bed partner”, later clarifying this meant “sex”.
Police claim he propositioned the girl in explicit terms and proposed a video conversation, so she could see him and decide whether she wanted to advance their relationship.
Police recorded another chat the next day, in which Flynn allegedly asked the girl if she wanted to have sex during the school holidays.
“No one will know,” he allegedly said.
When the girl reminded him she was 14 years old, he allegedly replied “That’s OK. I will help you.”
Flynn allegedly suggested the pair meet at a motel, then go to the movies. He said he would drive the teen home if she would take a train to meet him, two hours away.
The girl was in fact an “assumed online identity” – the fictitious creation of police from the State Crime Command’s Child Exploitation Internet Unit.
Police allegedly identified two accounts linked to the chat program, both in Flynn’s name. Mobile phone records led to his Wollongong home, where he was arrested on Wednesday morning.
He was refused bail in Wollongong Local Court that afternoon.
His lawyer, Justine Hall, told the court Flynn was in bad health, having had five toes amputated late last year due to diabetes.
His wife, who also suffers diabetes as well as a debilitating musculoskeletal condition, relied on him as her carer and would suffer while he was in custody, the court heard.
Ms Hall pointed to Flynn’s limited criminal history, which does not include any similar matters. She proposed he report to police daily and said he his phone had been seized and he would agree to stay off chat sites if released.
But Magistrate Walker refused to release Flynn, noting “the very serious nature of the offences” and strong prosecution case, which allegedly includes admissions from Flynn.
The matter returns to court March 27.