By Mitchell Clarke
A “persistent” Northern suburbs father, who used social media to groom what he believed was a 14-year-old girl for sex, attempted to meet up with her at Fountain Gate.
Adrian Raschella, 41, was sentenced in the County Court on 22 October after pleading guilty to one charge of using a carriage service to procure a person believed to be under 16 years of age.
The court heard Raschella had used the social messaging app Kik to send sexually explicit messages and pornography to a Victoria Police undercover operate purporting to be a 14-year-old girl.
Conversations began on 25 May 2019 and ended in 7 January 2020.
Raschella asked the operative if she “liked older guys” from the outset before sending a pornographic video and suggesting they meet up to have sex.
The court heard he was persistent in arranging to meet up, and on 29 June 2019 said: “If I was down in Fountain Gate one weekend, you interested in saying hi?”
Raschella also sent the operative suggestive emojis and asked her how much notice she needed to take a “sickie” from school to instead spend a “fun day” with him.
Judge Martine Marich said his offending was “objectively serious and grave”.
“You were told from the very outset of your conversation with (the operator) that she was 14 years old and you proceeded with a sexualised conversation with her,” Judge Marich said.
The judge said Raschella had within the first month after the initial conversation discussed various sex acts with her.
“Some five weeks after those explicit conversations, you were discussing the possibility of meeting and having sex. You were 40 years old.”
The court heard Raschella had no prior criminal history and Judge Marich acknowledged his prospects of rehabilitation were good.
Judge Marich sentenced Raschella to 18 months in jail but ordered he be released in six months on a two-year good behaviour bond.
He will also be a registered sex offender for eight years.