A WESTERN District man has been sentenced to 21 days prison for contact with minors.
The man, 23, is a registered sex offender and he faced court last week over contact with three minors via Facebook Messenger, and not reporting the contact to police.
The man pleaded guilty to not complying with his reporting obligations. Registered sex offenders are required to report any contact with minors to police. He also faced charges after he failed to update police on a change of his contact details, as per sex offender register requirements.
The man was placed on the sex offender registry in March 2019 and on May 31 he sent Facebook friend requests to two girls, aged 13 and 14.
A woman learned of the contact and was aware the man was a registered sex offender, and contacted police.
Officers learned the man had also been in contact with another girl, 17 - again via Facebook. The girl flew to Victoria from interstate and had in-person contact with the man for several days.
Police executed a search warrant at the man's home on July 1 and seized electronics.
The man made a full confession and said he knew the girls were underage at the time of contact and that he was in a relationship with the 17 year-old.
Defence solicitor Nick Graham told the court that the man had an intellectual disability that was severe enough to render him "unable" to make lifestyle and financial decisions.
"His level of culpability is lower," Mr Graham said.
"While making this contact, there is no suggestion he was acting inappropriately (in regards to the content of the messages). He was searching for friendship."
Mr Graham said the man he had made a big mistake.
Mr Graham also asked that Magistrate Letizia Torres consider the man's disability and not sentence him to jail time. He called for a Community Corrections Order.
Ms Torres said the man's offending was "too serious" for a Community Corrections Order and sentenced him to prison with conviction.
Australian Community Media has not named the man to protect the identity of the victims.