Bendigo man accused of grooming girl, 13, bailed

A NORTH Bendigo man has been committed to stand trial on charges of abducting a 13-year-old girl and grooming her for a sexual relationship.

Allan Read, 26, faced a committal hearing in the Bendigo Magistrates Court yesterday.

He is charged with three counts of child stealing, and using a telecommunications service to groom and procure a child for a sexual relationship. The charges were laid by police in January after a missing Bendigo teenager was found at Read’s home.

At a bail hearing the day after his arrest on January 7, the court heard Read had a close relationship with the girl and had bombarded her with 30 text messages in the hour before she left her home.

One text read: “Babe, delete this after you read it. I cannot live without you. You need to find a way to run away again.”

Constable Peter Goldsmith told the court police had concerns about a sexual relationship between the pair.

“He is introducing her as his girlfriend and vice versa,” Constable Goldsmith said.

“On Mr Read’s phone the victim is referred to as ‘my sexy playboy bunny’ and Read is referred to as ‘your teddy bear’.”

Police also found text messages of a sexually explicit nature.

But Read, who has Asperger’s syndrome, denied there was any sexual relationship between the pair.

Read had been remanded in custody since January.

But at yesterday’s committal hearing he successfully applied for bail on the condition he not contact the victim and live with his parents outside of Bendigo.

The case was listed for a directions hearing on July 11 in the Melbourne County Court.

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