Canberra man jailed after watching child sexual abuse and trying to arrange sex with young girls


A Canberra man who used Tinder and WhatsApp to try to arrange to have sex with children will spend at least three months in jail.

James Stuart Logue, of Farrer, faced the ACT Supreme Court today after pleading guilty to three child-exploitation offences earlier this year.

The 29-year-old kitchenhand had been charged with preparing or planning to have sex with a child outside Australia, as well as accessing and possessing videos and images of children being sexually abused.

Police raided Logue’s home in October last year after a United States-based cyber-safety agency tipped them off about messages he had sent on his smartphone.

In the messages, sent to unknown people in Thailand, South America and Africa, Logue offered to pay to have sex with a girl aged eight to 16.

Logue: I like small skinny girl. The younger she is the more money I pay.

Response: You get horny with lil girl?

Logue: Yes.

The amounts he offered varied, but in one instance he offered up to $US5,000 ($7,650) to a trafficker.

Logue: I want child I want sex with child. Any age.

Response: It’s kinda human traffic somehow.

Logue: It’s why I pay a lot.

Logue made four overseas trips last year, three of which included some time in Thailand.

Footage of ‘highest category of seriousness’

Logue also pleaded guilty to watching 64 videos and images of children being abused.

The material included footage of children as young as five involved in sexual acts.

Federal prosecutor Haya Snobar asked Justice Michael Elkaim to view a sample, saying mere descriptions did not adequately convey their depravity.

The judge agreed.

“One of the videos depicts bestiality, placing it in the highest category of seriousness,” he said.

Logue ‘didn’t view the children as real’

After his arrest, Logue told police his messages on Tinder had been make-believe, saying “this was more of a fantasy while I was at home, bored”.

He later explained to a psychiatrist that, when watching the videos, he “didn’t view the children as real”.

Dating app Tinder
Logue used Tinder and WhatsApp to discuss paying for sex with children.(Flickr: Wayan Vota)

“Now I see that someone has hurt them in the process of making this pornography,” he said.

“At the time I wasn’t thinking, but I have come to realise that there is an innocent child in each of these images and videos.”

Justice Elkaim accepted that Logue, who had little money, “would not and probably could not” have acted on any positive responses to his requests to buy sex with children.

But he said Logue had engaged in “very serious criminal conduct”.

Logue spent the past seven months under strict bail conditions, which his defence had called “a form of house arrest”. He had a curfew and was unable to leave his home unless he was with one of his parents.

A psychiatric assessment prepared for the court found he was likely to respond well to treatment for his paedophilic addiction, and that his chance of reoffending was “no higher than 3 to 5 per cent”.

In sentencing him, Justice Elkaim took this into account, as well as Logue’s lack of criminal history, his apparent remorse and his cooperation with police.

The judge also noted the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the lack of visitors at the jail could impede inmates’ rehabilitation.

He gave Logue a sentence of just over 18 months, of which three months must be spent in prison.



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