A 20-year-old Illawarra man has been granted bail after he allegedly had a seven-month sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reason, allegedly contacted the girl, he didn't know, on Snapchat in 2020 and she accepted the request before they began talking on social media and their phones.
The girl allegedly told the man she was 14 and he said he was 19.
Documents tendered to Wollongong Local Court said last year they agreed to meet up for the first time.
He drove to her house, picked her up without her parents knowledge about midnight, went back to his house before returning her home about 5.30am.
The girl allegedly told the teen she was concerned he was older than her to which he replied, "that makes me like you even more".
The girl believed she was dating him in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship.
Police alleged during their relationship the man had various forms of sex with the girl on 10 occasions over a seven-month period.
The teen allegedly had sex with the girl after she turned 15 in public including in a shopping centre toilet cubicle and in a gym's toilet block on three occasions after he swiped her inside.
It is alleged the teenager told the girl to not tell anyone as he could get into trouble with the girl reporting he said words to the effect of, "do you know how much trouble I could get in? A much older kid with a younger girl?"
The girl ended the relationship and she deleted all messages she had sent him and blocked him from social media.
In December last year the girl and her mother attended Wollongong Police Station to report the sexual relationship.
Police allegedly uncovered evidence of the alleged relationship, including intimate images.
Last week the man, now aged 20, was arrested and charged with 10 counts of having sexual intercourse with a child aged between 14 and 16 years.
During a police interview, the man allegedly admitted to being in a relationship with the girl but denied any sexual activity started before her 15th birthday.
He allegedly admitted to the majority of the accusations but denied the time frames.
The man allegedly disclosed they had sex two times in toilet cubicles of another shopping centre and at a public park.
He allegedly admitted he knew his actions were morally wrong, as well as illegal, and that was why he stopped the relationship.
A laptop, iPad, and mobile phone were seized from his home and will be examined.
Last week, the court heard the man had no criminal history and defence lawyer Matthew Ward said there was not a significant level of coercion or intimidation during the relationship.
He noted the pair appeared to have had a clean break up and there had been no further allegations.
Mr Ward said the young man had lived in the Illawarra his whole life and had strong community ties, and the support of his parents.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Ben Bragger said the man made "fairly frank admissions" to some of the charges and appeared to be aware of what he was doing, noting there was a power imbalance in the relationship as he was an adult.
Magistrate Gabriel Fleming granted bail believing the risk to the safety of the girl and other children could be mitigated.
The man must live at home with his mother, report to police once a week, not go near or try to contact the girl, not engage or activate Snapchat and cannot be alone with any person aged under 16 unless in the company of his mother.
The case will return to court on February 2.
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