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The provision makes it an offence for an adult to use electronic communication (such as email, internet chat rooms, SMS messages, real time audio/video or other similar communication) with the intention of procuring a person under the age of 16 years (or whom the adult believes to be under 16 years) to engage in a sexual act.The definition of sexual intercourse is specifically not limited to acts involving physical contact.However, a maximum penalty of 10 years applies if the child is, or is believed by the adult to be, less than 12 years of age.In March 2002, Queensland Police began an undercover operation against a person whom they had discovered in a chat room seeking underage girls for sex.
Various facilities are available to search out others with similar backgrounds or interests.
Whether or not it is an offence depends on the available law.
In cases of attempting to commit a sexual offence, there will also be a question of fact to answer - that is, whether the adult has taken steps towards carrying out their intent.
In some jurisdictions there may be a limited range of possible offences to cover such actions.
Where there are laws in place, how are we to combat this predatory type of behaviour?Foreword | This paper reports the experience of Queensland police in the investigation of predatory behaviour by men seeking sex with children through online chat rooms.