Man allegedly planning motel sex with ‘girl’ arrested by undercover police

A Gold Coast man who went to a Brisbane fast food restaurant to meet who he thought was a 13-year-old girl for an alleged illicit tryst was greeted by undercover detectives and arrested.

It was alleged Lucas Randall Beatson last month made contact with a social media profile of an undercover police officer posing as a 13-year-old girl.

The profile was created by detectives from Taskforce Argos, the Queensland Police Service’s specialist child exploitation unit.

Beatson is accused of grooming of the child, including sending explicit photographs and videos of himself.

Police will also allege Beatson’s behaviour escalated to making arrangements for the child to skip school and meet him to engage in sexual activity at a motel.

The 42-year-old, from Upper Coomera, was arrested on Thursday at a Brisbane fast food business and had his case heard in Brisbane Arrests Court on Friday.

He is charged with one count of using the internet to procure a child under 16 and four counts of grooming a child under 16.

Beatson was granted bail but he must not have access to the internet.

His case will next be heard in Brisbane Magistrates Court on June 27.

Taskforce Argos Detective Inspector Glen Donaldson said research by the Commonwealth eSafety Commissioner identified that one in four children had been approached online by a stranger.

Supervision is the key to prevention, as is ongoing communication with children about how to stay safe online and the dangers of having online ‘friends’ they have never met face-to-face, he said.

To those that seek to engage in this predatory behaviour, just remember that the next ‘child’ that you engage may be a member of Argos.

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