An 18-year-old man has admitted indecently assaulting a 12-year-old girl, but denies sexually grooming her in an online chatroom.
In Masterton District Court this morning, Kayne Storm McIntyre pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting the girl after allegedly driving from Rotorua to a Wairarapa home and picking her up.
He pleaded not guilty to a second charge of travelling with the intention of meeting a young person following sexual grooming, and elected trial by jury.
After the Anzac Day incident, Wairarapa police Senior Sergeant Jymahl Glassey told The Dominion Post McIntyre had allegedly made the trip six months after he and the girl first met in the chatroom Omegle.
The website, with the slogan ''talk to strangers'', allows users to chat to randomly selected people anonymously and is meant for users aged over 18.
Speaking to The Dominion Post after McIntyre was charged, the mother of the girl said she was at home about 6.30pm when a visitor spotted the girl getting into a car with a man no-one knew and being driven away.
The family rushed to call the police and the vehicle carrying the pair was tracked down within an hour.
The mother said she was so terrified by the incident that she had cut off her home's internet. Her daughter climbed out a window to meet the man, she said.
Judge Peter Hobbs allowed publication of McIntyre's name and a photograph of him, saying it would be unlikely to identify his victim or affect his right to a fair trial. He remanded him on bail to a Rotorua address until a case review hearing in July.
The internet safety watchdog netsafe.org.nz has tips for parents on cyber safety.
- The Dominion Post