A Canberra man charged with sending indecent messages to a child on Facebook had previously come to the attention of police 113 times, the ACT Magistrates Court has heard.
Mathew Waters, 45, was arrested on Friday at his home in Richardson after police received a complaint from a child and his mother in August.
The mother and son reported inappropriate messages the young man had received via Facebook messenger, initially offering him cash to help Waters’ son who he allegedly told the child was in a bad relationship with an older man.
When the messages became increasingly inappropriate, officers said they assumed the identity of the young man to communicate with Waters.
Waters faced court today charged with using a carriage service between August 10 and October 6 to transmit indecent material featuring young men aged under 16.
The court also heard police seized two mobiles phones during a search of his home.
Waters did not enter a plea.
In opposing bail, Senior Constable Tanja Catalinac testified in court she feared Waters might interfere with witnesses.
“The information available suggests the defendant has been trying to acquire pornography featuring young men,” she said.
Waters ‘offered cash, cigarettes in exchange for nude photos’
Senior Constable Catalinac also told the court Waters had previously come to the attention of police 113 times as a result of separate and individual reports.
The court heard some of the police reports accused Waters of approaching young men and offering cash and cigarettes for nude photos.
“The defendant has a history of purchasing new phones for young men,” Senior Constable Catalinac said.
“He has been able to acquire substantial amounts of money from friends.
“He can still go and acquire more devices.”
Magistrate Peter Morrison granted bail under very strict conditions, including orders that the defendant not contact three named men, not approach any child under the age of 18, not leave the ACT and that he reside at a south Canberra address.
The orders also included reporting to Tuggeranong Police Station three times a week and not accessing the internet or telephones.
Waters’ father provided $1,000 surety.
Waters is expected to return to court in November.
Police have urged anyone who has been the victim of online grooming to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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