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Byron Shire
May 6, 2021

Casino man who allegedly groomed 15 year-old online for sex remains free on bail

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A Casino father who allegedly set up a Facebook account to groom a 15 year-old girl for sex is required to enter a plea when he returns to court next month.

Jacob Lee Benn was charged in June after the girl complained to police and an investigation was launched by the State Crime Command’s Internet Child Exploitation Unit.

The 30 year-old father of two, who allegedly communicated with the teenger from his marital home, was charged with soliciting child pronography, grooming a teenager online for sexual activity and sending indecent material online.

Police allege between November 20, 2016, and the day before his arrest, June 14, Mr Benn sent various message via Facebook messenger to the 15-year-old girl with the intention of having sex with her.

During their communications, it is alleged Mr Benn told the girl not to reveal his identity and to keep their communications a secret.

‘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 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.

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

The brief of evidence against Mr Benn has been completed by police but he is yet to enter a plea to the allegations.

This week, Magistrate David Heilpern adjourned Mr Benn’s matters until December 11, for a plea to be entered and he be committed for trial or sentence, depending on his plea.

Mr Benn remains free on conditional bail until his next court appearance.

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.


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