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I'm an artist: ex-officer who posted teen photos on porn site

A former police officer who has admitted doctoring photos of teenage girls he met through a church youth group and posted them on a pornographic website says he likes to think of himself as an "artist".

Wayne Paul Mason, 42, is charged with more than 50 child sex and pornography charges after one of his alleged victims found on a website explicit photos of herself and other girls taken by him nearly a decade earlier.

Mr Mason, who was an officer with the NSW Police between 1997 and 2003, has pleaded not guilty.

The prosecution claims Mr Mason had sexual relationships with at least two 14- and 15-year-old girls he met through his role as a youth group leader and karate teacher at a Baptist Church in Sydney's south-west.

In a 2010 police interview played to a NSW District Court jury today, Mr Mason said he only flirted and engaged in "romantic talk" with one of the girls until she reached the age of consent.

He said a sexual relationship began when she was 16 but even then the couple faced a "stigma" because he was in his 30s.

"It's suffice to say love doesn't conquer all," he said.

The Crown prosecutor, Sarah Huggett, said the woman, now in her mid 20s, entered her name into a search engine and discovered pornographic photos allegedly taken by Mr Mason when she was 15. She also found similar pictures of other young girls she recognised from the church group.

In the police interview, Mr Mason admitted taking the photos of the woman during their four-year relationship.

"Of course; she was my girlfriend," he said. "I like to call myself a bit of an artist."

But he claimed he had doctored some of the other photos found on the website. He said he placed pictures of the girls' faces on the bodies of "random" women in sexually explicit poses.

Asked if he was sexually gratified by the images, he said: "No, it was more the ability to make people think it was real. I enjoy that they think it's real. Maybe it's an artist thing."

The charges date back to 1996 when Mr Mason allegedly kissed the 14- and 15-year-old younger sister of a woman he was dating.

Mr Mason allegedly preyed on the teenagers, showering them with attention, gifts and love letters before they agreed to various sex acts with him, including being photographed in sexual poses.

However, because the girls were under 16 at the time they could not give consent, Ms Huggett said.

Often, Mason was in a position of authority as their youth group leader or karate teacher, which aggravated the offences, she said.

The trial continues.

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