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Byron Shire
March 5, 2021

Married Casino father of two allegedly groomed 15-year-old girl online

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A Casino father is facing charges of grooming a girl under 15 years old.(File pic)
A Casino father is facing charges of grooming a girl under 15 years old.(File pic)

Under the roof of his family home, a married Casino father-of-two allegedly created a fake social media profile to groom a 15-year-old girl for sex, court documents have revealed.

Jacob Lee Benn appeared in Lismore Local Court on Monday and was represented by solicitor Peter Walsh.

The 30 year-old is charged with using a carriage service to groom a person under 16 years for sex.

It is alleged between November 21, 2016 and June 14 this year, Mr Benn communicated with the girl on social media using a fake profile.

‘The sender did this with the intention of making it easier to procure the recipient to engage in sexual activity with the sender,’ court documents stated.

‘The recipient is someone who is under the age of 16 years, namely 15 years and the sender is at least 18 years, namely 30 years.’

Police allege the online grooming escalated over the seven month period.

‘The accused continued to progress this offence over a prolonged period and he instigated the use of a false profile on the social media site to perpetrate this offence,’ court documents stated.

‘He also asked the victim to delete and cover the use of this profile.’

Following an investigation, Mr Benn was arrested and taken to Lismore police station on June 15, where he was charged and granted conditional bail to reside at Casino.

Conditions of his bail include not to contact the victim by any means, not to go to the victims school, not to access any form of social media and not to contact any person under 16 unless they are immediate family.

The court heard the brief of evidence against Mr Benn was still being compiled by police.

Magistrate David Heilpern ordered the brief of evidence to be served on the defence by August 21.

He adjourned Mr Benn’s matters until September 11 at Lismore Local Court.

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