A man has appeared in a Bendigo court, accused of using social media to persuade a 14-year-old girl - whose profile was actually operated by police - to meet him for sexual activity.
Sean O'Halloran, 28, was refused bail in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court, charged with using a carriage service to procure a person under 16, using a carriage service to transmit indecent communication to a person under 16, and two counts of using a carriage service to solicit child abuse material.
Mr O'Halloran allegedly used Facebook to send a friend request to a covert police profile purporting to be that of a 14-year-old girl last year.
The court heard he asked 'the girl' how old she was and she said she was 14.
In November, Mr O'Halloran allegedly contacted the girl and told her he would pay her $250 an hour for sex and later told her he would buy a pair of her "dirty knickers".
Mr O'Halloran allegedly also asked the girl to send a picture of herself to confirm she was 14 and told her he would not stalk her, only masturbate over her.
He is also accused of sending the profile a photo of his erect penis, asking for a photo of her without underwear, and telling her he would pay for a photo of her in underwear.
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During his alleged communication with the profile he also made references to potentially getting in trouble with police for being a paedophile.
The girl told him she could go to Kyabram in December to meet him, to which he allegedly asked her to come earlier.
Mr O'Halloran also allegedly asked her if he could get her pregnant.
During the period of alleged contact he is accused of leaving an explicit voice message and sending a video of himself masturbating.
He was arrested in December and told police in an interview that he knew he had to do something like that in order to get back into the psychiatric ward.
Mr O'Halloran also said he thought he was being 'catfished' by people he knew, and did not think he was talking to someone under 16.
He is also facing three charges of stalking and four charges of using a carriage service offensively in relation to often sexually explicit messages he allegedly sent to four people, including relatives.
In some of these messages he asked for sex.
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In response to those allegations, Mr O'Halloran told police his account had been hacked.
Detective Senior Constable Cheryl Goad, from the Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team, said she was concerned about Mr O'Halloran's proposed bail address, because police had found drug-affected people there before and one occupant had a criminal history.
DSC Goad said she was also concerned he would fail to answer bail and would fall back into drug use.
Defence lawyer Eleanor Millar told the court there were issues of fitness and mental impairment to investigate in relation to Mr O'Halloran.
Ms Millar said Mr O'Halloran had support from people who would be able to help him if he were to be released on bail.
The main reasons for her client being granted bail, she said, were the concerns regarding his mental health and delays in the court process.
The court heard Mr O'Halloran was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia as a teenager and had an acquired brain injury.
He had already spent 205 days in custody, Ms Millar said, and likely would not face significantly more jail time if he were guilty and sentenced.
But magistrate John Murphy said Mr O'Halloran needed accommodation in a residential psychiatric unit and refused bail.
The matter was adjourned to next month.
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