A former Melbourne record label boss used the gay dating app Grindr to talk to an underage boy and pay him $350 for sex.
As per News.com, the man, unidentified for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to one count of agreeing to provide sexual services of a child. The incident in question took place in September 2019.
Appearing in the County Court of Victoria on Thursday, January 14th, he was only ordered to serve a community correctors order, avoiding being given a prison term.
Judge Doyle said the following: “It is well established that children will be harmed by premature sexual experience of all kinds and must be protected from themselves and the potential for immature judgment,” Judge Doyle said.
The man operated under the discreet screen name “Hosting Young Gap Sex” and began chatting with the 15-year-old victim on the dating app in June 2019.
The victim first informed the man that he was aged 16, then 15 and 14 as their conversation continued over a number of days.
When he was asked to come to the man’s home for an encounter, the boy told him “nah, I don’t do s*** for free aye”.
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The man countered by saying he would be “happy” to pay him for his services and also urged him to invite his friends. “More $ if u bring younger mates with u,” he said in messages detailed in the prosecution summary.
The boy waited a few months before replying, telling the man in September that he agreed to be paid for sex. He then went to the man’s apartment in Abbotsford. He was paid $350 and put in a taxi by the man after their meeting.
The victim told police just a few days later about the incident and also told his father and a psychologist.
Judge Doyle said that the man’s “persistence” in pushing the idea of paying the boy for sex was an “aggravating” factor in the case.
However he also noted that the messages didn’t contain any intimidating threats or coercive exchanges and were of a sexual and transactional nature.
Judge Doyle said that in this case there was no victim impact statement while adding that the law presumes there was harm done to children.
The 41-year-old man will serve an 18-month community corrections order as well as participating in supervision, treatment, and rehabilitation. This will include the possibility of attending a sex offenders program. He also received a fine totalling $4000.