Wodonga Man Pleads Guilty To Child Sex Offences
Used message app because he was "bored"
A Wodonga boilermaker has pleaded guilty to four charges of using a carriage service to solicit child abuse material in Wodonga County Court on Wednesday.
Steven Watson, 33, “pursued underage females for sexual gratification” because he was “bored”, the court heard.
Analysis of Watson’s phone and tablet revealed three further sexually explicit conversations with girls he thought were under the age of 18 but they were actually from an undercover cop.
Prosecutors said Watson used a messenger app called Kik to engage in sexual conversations with the cop who was posing as a 14-year-old girl called Emily between November 2019 and December 2020.
Watson was arrested at his workplace in December 2020 after police seized his Samsung mobile phone and a Samsung Galaxy tablet from his parent's house where he was living.
In conversations with the undercover cop, Watson requested explicit photos and discussed sexual activities like masturbation and losing one’s virginity.
Messages included: “What naughty things have you done? Do you like watching naughty videos? Do you want to?”
Watson also requested another girl send him “naughty pics or videos … to get (him) in the mood”.
In the interview with police, Watson said sometimes he “gets bored” and talk to people who are sometimes “a little bit younger” but that he had no intention of meeting anyone. He also did not recall speaking to anyone called Emily.
Watson’s Defence Counsel Lachlan Cameron said his client had been forced to deal with the public’s response after reports came through local media outlets.
“He has demonstrated shame and remorse for his actions. He’s had an intense emotional reaction,” he said.
But Judge Anne Hassan said it appeared Watson was “enjoying” what he was doing when he offended
“He’s actively pursuing underage females for sexual gratification,” Hassan said.
Watson also plead guilty to firearm offences after police found an unsecured Slavia .22 rifle stored in his bedroom cupboard. Ammunition was scattered throughout the room.
He will be sentenced Wednesday, November 17.
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