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Foreword | This paper reports the experience of Queensland police in the investigation of predatory behaviour by men seeking sex with children through online chat rooms.
It reports on the 25 investigations into online grooming completed by the Queensland Police in the period June 2003 and September 2004 under the code name Task Force Argos, and includes a discussion of three successful prosecutions.
At the time of the investigation, section 218A of the Criminal Code (Qld) was not in force; however, other offences subsequently came to light.
Police received a complaint of sexual abuse which occurred in another state upon a 14-year-old female victim who had met her abuser on the internet.
While the relevant laws vary across Australia, the possible charges fall into four categories: .
The Act inserted section 218A into the Queensland Criminal Code.
Some have net connectivity on portable devices such as mobile phones.In some jurisdictions there may be a limited range of possible offences to cover such actions.Where there are laws in place, how are we to combat this predatory type of behaviour?To 'procure' includes knowingly enticing or recruiting for the purposes of sexual exploitation.This law also makes it an offence for an adult to expose a person to any indecent matter, 'without legitimate reason', where that person is under the age of 16 years, or the adult believes that person to be less than 16.
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These provisions have extra-territorial effect in relation to the location of the adult or the child, by the use of the words 'either in Queensland or elsewhere'.