Man accused of sexually exploiting boy (15) he met online

Male (29) accused of sexually exploiting teenager he befriended on social media

A 29-year-old  has been ordered not to have any unsupervised contact with children under the age of 18 and to stay away from the internet, as part of bail conditions. File photograph: Getty Images

A 29-year-old has been ordered not to have any unsupervised contact with children under the age of 18 and to stay away from the internet, as part of bail conditions. File photograph: Getty Images

 

A 29-year-old charged with sexually exploiting a child has been ordered not to have any unsupervised contact with children and to stay away from the internet and all social media platforms, as part of bail conditions.

It is alleged the accused was intercepted by gardaí on Monday while on his way to a hotel to have sex with a 15-year-old boy.

The 29-year-old was arrested on Tuesday and brought before Limerick District Court on Wednesday night, where he was charged with sexually exploiting a child, contrary to Section 3 of the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act.

The offence is alleged to have taken place at a specified location on a date between January 3rd, 2015, and February 10th this year.

In her evidence during the bail application on Wednesday, Det Fiona O’Connell alleged that within a week of befriending the boy on social media the accused sent him “provocative images and videos of himself masturbating”.

It is alleged that, following examination, the accused’s phone was found to contain “disturbing videos involving another young male whose identity was unknown”.

It is further alleged that a second phone belonging to the accused contained 56 naked images of the boy, who had been coerced into sending them.

Ms O’Connell said it is alleged the 29-year-old had booked a hotel room for Monday, May 9th, and also February 13th last to meet the boy for sex but these meetings did not take place.

Strict conditions

The accused appeared before Limerick District Court again on Thursday, where bail was granted on a number of strict conditions.

The 29-year-old gave an undertaking not to purchase or use any electronic equipment, including any mobile phones, with internet access.

He also gave an undertaking not to access or use any social media platforms and to inform gardaí of any social media platforms he has used in the past.

Outlining the list of conditions, Sgt Donal Cronin said the accused was not to have any unsupervised contact with any children under the age of 18, including members of his own family.

Counsel for the accused Sarah Ryan told the court she was not aware of bail conditions “at this level” before and Sgt Donal Cronin agreed the State had not sought bail conditions of this type previously.

The accused was told to surrender his passport at Roxboro Garda station.

As part of his bail conditions he has to sign on daily at Roxboro Garda station and have “absolutely no contact” with the alleged injured party or his family.

Judge Marian O’Leary granted bail on an independent surety of €5,000, €2,500 of which had to be lodged to the court.

Ms Ryan said her client was not in a position to take up bail on Wednesday and the case was remanded to next Tuesday, May 17th.