Man allegedly pretended to be 15yo so he could groom young people online

Author
Ben Leahy, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 26 Oct 2021, 8:15PM
Dunedin police have charged a 31-year-old man with sexual grooming. (Photo / 123)
Dunedin police have charged a 31-year-old man with sexual grooming. (Photo / 123)

Man allegedly pretended to be 15yo so he could groom young people online

Author
Ben Leahy, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 26 Oct 2021, 8:15PM

A Dunedin man has been charged with sexual grooming after allegedly pretending to be a 15-year-old boy on the internet as a way to contact young victims. 

The 31-year-old man will appear in the Dunedin District Court on November 26 on charges relating to sexual offences, including meeting a young person following sexual grooming. 

Child Protection Team Detective Sergeant Regan Boucher said the man allegedly made contact with a number of victims online. 

He did this by allegedly creating fictitious online social media profiles and arranging to meet the victims. 

"This is an important reminder that the internet is a place where people are able to remain anonymous and prey on the vulnerable," he said. 

"It is vital that parents are aware of who their children are communicating with and have some open and frank conversations about keeping safe, not giving out personal information and not meeting up with strangers." 

Parents and caregivers can find useful information about keeping children safe online at www.netsafe.org.nz. 

Police would like to hear from anyone who believes they may have communicated or met with the alleged offender, or fallen victim to this type of offending, Boucher said. 

Anyone with any information that could assist police can contact the Dunedin Police Station on 03 471 4800. Alternatively, information can also be provided to Police on 105, or anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111. 

No other details about the offending can be released due to the age of the victims and due to the matter now being before the court.