Police officer posing as teen catches man in sting
A 24-YEAR-OLD Coast man who thought he'd gained the affection of a 13-year-old girl soon discovered he'd been cat-fished by a police officer when he was arrested in a sting.
Jake Thomas William Blanco believed he was talking to a "teen girl" for a period of four months between July and October 2017 - but he was really sending dirty messages to an adult police officer.
He pleaded guilty in Maroochydore District Court to a single count of using an electronic device to procure a child, an offence which carries a maximum of 10 years' imprisonment.
Blanco's family were in court in support of him.
The court heard Blanco engaged in "sexualised" conversations with the teen, who he believed lived in Brisbane, including asking if she wanted to have sex with him as well as other sexual acts.
Blanco asked the girl for photos, which she sent, and he responded by complimenting her and asking for more.
He sent her three photos in return, but none of his penis.
Blanco was arrested following a search warrant and declined to be interviewed.
Defence barrister Mark McCarthy told the court his client was assessed by a psychologist who determined he didn't suffer paedophilia.
The psychologist further noted Blanco had a "strong motivation" to address his offending and willingness to comply with future treatment.
Blanco also suffers from below average intelligence but has "strong prospects" of rehabilitation.
Chief Judge Kerry O'Brien noted Blanco's low intelligence meant his judgement and reasoning was likely to be impaired and sentenced him to two years' probation.