Police officer walking out of court
Geraldton police officer Mark Swain, pictured here outside court in June, has been stood down from duty.(ABC Midwest & Wheatbelt: Rachael Clifford)

A Geraldton police officer who allegedly assaulted a teenager and asked her to have sex with him has been released on bail.

Key points:

  • Child abuse squad have charged a 48-year-old Geraldton police officer with seven abuse offences
  • Police allege Mark Kevin Swain met the underage girls through an online adult website
  • He is the second Midwest–Gascoyne police officer to be charged with child sex offences in 12 months 

State solicitor Nick John told Geraldton Magistrates Court that Mark Kevin Swain invited a 14-year-old girl to his home last week after meeting her on the Sugar Daddy Meet dating app.

She and her 14-year-old friend arrived at the Wandina property, where Mr Swain admits he gave them both alcoholic drinks.

Mr John said Mr Swain, 48, allegedly rubbed the inside of one of the girl’s legs during the evening.

Police will allege he then took her into a room and asked her to have sex with him.

This did not occur, and Mr John said Mr Swain drove both girls to the Broadwater Hotel.

He is alleged to have touched one of the girls inappropriately again in the car.

Mr John said Mr Swain allegedly then sent a message to one of the girls asking her to come back to his house where he would “give her the best night of her life”.

Mr Swain was arrested on Thursday and charged with two counts of indecently dealing with a child under the age of 16, three counts of encouraging a child under the age of 16 to engage in sexual behaviour and two counts of supplying alcohol to juveniles.

Officer admits using Sugar Daddy app

Mr Swain’s defence counsel said he admitted to using the dating app to contact the girl, and to giving the girl and her friend alcoholic drinks after inviting them to his house.

Mr John said Mr Swain allegedly paid one of the girls in a bid to stop them from reporting the incident to police.

An old stone courthouse.
Mr Swain appeared in the Geraldton Magistrates Court.(ABC News: Gian De Poloni)

But his defence counsel, Gregory Chin, said the girls threatened to tell his 17-year-old son — whom they both knew prior to the alleged incident — about his use of the dating service.

He said Mr Swain claimed to have paid one of the girls $200 to prevent them from going to his son.

Mr Chin said all Sugar Daddy Meet users were required to be over the age of 18, and Mr Swain claimed he told the girls to leave when he discovered they were under-age.

He said Mr Swain denied any abuse against the teenager.

In opposing bail, Mr John said Mr Swain should not be released to prevent him from interfering with witnesses and reoffending.

However, Mr Swain was released from custody this morning, with Magistrate Angus Hockton saying protective measures would be put in place to prevent contact with the alleged victims.

The incidents allegedly occurred while Mr Swain was off duty, and he has since been stood down from work.

Mr Swain is the second Geraldton-based police officer to face child abuse charges in the past 12 months, with ex-WA police senior constable Michael Richard Tyler to be sentenced later this year for accessing and possessing child sex abuse material.

Source – https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-26/geraldton-police-officer-to-face-court-over-child-sex-charges/101375726