A Casey man who posed as a teenage schoolboy online to sext underage girls has avoided time behind bars.
The ACT Supreme Court heard that Craig Currie, 36, had been prescribed a testosterone blocker and had embarked on behaviour therapy in a bid to treat and eradicate his inappropriate sexual interests.
The court heard that Currie – who reported a decade-long interest in child porn – would present a low risk of reoffending if he persevered with treatment.
Currie was arrested in April and pleaded guilty soon after to using a carriage service to solicit child pornography material and intentionally possessing child pornography.
He was sentenced to 13 months' jail, to be fully suspended upon entering a two-year good behaviour order with conditions that he pay a $500 security and undertake the Adult Sex Offenders Program if assessed as suitable.
In 2014, Currie set up an Instagram account under the false name Sam Davis, and described himself as a 14-year-old Cronulla schoolboy.
Currie began to communicate regularly with two Sydney girls, aged 12 and 13, in late 2014 via Snapchat, Facebook and Skype.
The Skype contact generally showed Currie, posing as Sam Davis, sitting in a darkened room with a hood over his head.
In January last year, he began to send the 12-year-old photographs of a penis that he said was his, and continued to do so at least twice a day until mid-March. He also sent pictures of male genitalia to the 13-year-old.
The Sam Davis account asked and received pictures from the girls of their breasts, vaginas and pyjamas.
But the girls discovered Currie's true identity when one tried to call his mobile number and was put through to his work message bank, which identified his business and real name.
The victims then searched the internet and found him on both Facebook and LinkedIn.
In March, they reported him to NSW police, and ACT officers raided his home in April.
A seized computer and mobile phone contained evidence of Skype chats with the victims, which included three videos and 129 images classified as child pornography.
The court heard that the material fell into the lowest level of seriousness and Currie had sought to retain only 25 images on his phone.
A victim impact statement from one girl described her sense of betrayal and how she felt "scared, dirty, used and upset" at the discovery that she had been duped into forming a loving relationship with an impostor.
Her mother reported that the girl had become withdrawn and secretive during her contact with Currie, and struggled emotionally after discovering the truth.
The court was told Currie has no criminal history
A psychiatrist said Currie – who suffered from depression – reported an interest in child and adolescent pornography dating back at least 10 years before the offences.
Justice Hilary Penfold, in a sentence published last week, noted that contact had been initiated by the two girls, not Currie.
"But that came about because Mr Currie had created for his own purposes an image of a 14-year-old boy, and those purposes turned out to be quite improper, given that Mr Currie used his alter ego to engage in sexualised relationships with the two young girls," Justice Penfold said.
"That is, there appears to have been a degree of premeditation in Mr Currie's use of the internet to make contact with adolescent girls.
"I note, however, Mr Currie's uncontested evidence that he never made any attempt to meet the girls, and knew that he never would meet them."