A former Illawarra junior rugby league referee has admitted to his depraved decade-long behaviour where he used similar methods to meet, groom and rape young girls.
In Wollongong Local Court on Wednesday, Dale Whiteman pleaded guilty to 15 charges including having sexual intercourse with a person aged 14 to 16, possessing child abuse material, aggravated indecent assault and using a carriage service to groom a child under 16 years for sex.
The 32-year-old faced more than 90 charges with 23 being back-up offences and the were remainder withdrawn.
Documents tendered to court reveal how the Tarrawanna man used his connections as a referee to meet young girls or he would contact friends of other girls he groomed.
Whiteman would communicate with them on social media or via text message before turning the conversation sexual.
His 22 victims were aged between 13 and 16.
Whiteman's perverted behaviour continued until his early 30s when he was arrested on December 11, 2019.
He was granted bail but then re-arrested and slapped with more charges after police uncovered a dossier of child abuse material on a USB storage device.
The 71 folders were labelled with girls' names and images.
Inside the folders were screenshots from sexual conversations he had with girls as well as photos of them in their underwear or they were naked.
Whiteman's foray into deviant behaviour began when he befriended a young girl and over the next few months sent her messages on Facebook.
Whiteman asked her what underwear she was wearing, as he had a fetish for g-strings and swimwear, before requesting she send him photos of herself.
On one occasion, Whiteman met up with the girl and he put her hand on his genitals while in the car.
He escalated in 2006 when he befriended a 14-year-old girl by sending her messages that made her feel "special and wanted" before eventually convincing her to have sex with him.
Many girls told police that Whiteman would begin with general conversation that turned sexual and he would 'badger' and 'nag' them for sexually-explicit photos despite them initially refusing to send the images.
Whiteman was arrested after he started talking to a 13-year-old girl on Instagram when he was 31-years-old.
She told police she succumbed to his constant requests for photos of her bra three times all the while reminding him she was only 13.
The girl questioned why he wanted the images and she told him they made her uncomfortable but he played down her concerns.
He also sent her many sexually explicit messages.
Whiteman came under the notice of police after the girl's friends notified their school principal.
Whiteman was re-arrested on March 2 last year, after another girl came forward with details of her alleged sexual abuse and he was charged with more offences.
During a police interview, he denied having sexual intercourse with the girls.
He has been in custody since his arrest.
Whiteman's case was adjourned to May 14 for a sentence date to be set in Wollongong District Court.
We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.