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Oliver Phommavanh: Well-known children’s author allegedly groomed teen by sending inappropriate images to someone he thought was a 13-year-old girl


A 41-year-old children’s author has been arrested and charged with online grooming after allegedly sending inappropriate images to someone he thought was a 13-year-old girl.

NSW Police confirmed Oliver Phommavanh appeared in court on Friday charged with alleged online child grooming as part of Strike Force Trawler.

Detectives from the National Crime Squad’s Sex Crimes Unit launched an investigation in early May after receiving an interstate report that a children’s author had allegedly been inappropriately communicating with a child online.

«During the investigation, the male allegedly sent inappropriate photos and videos to someone he believed to be a 13-year-old girl,» police said.

Following an investigation, police executed a search warrant at an Old Guildford home at 8am on Friday.

Detectives detained a 41-year-old man and seized several electronic devices.

NSW Police arrested Oliver Phommavanh at his residence in Western Sydney

The children's author has been accused of allegedly grooming a child online

The children’s author has been accused of allegedly grooming a child online

The man was taken to Fairfield Police Station where he was charged with using a transportation service to groom someone under the age of 16 for sex and using a transportation service to procure a person under the age of 16 for sexual activity.

Detectives say the man used his position as a children’s author to have inappropriate contact with children online.

Phommavanh grew up in Western Sydney and is an author, comedian and teacher.

He has written books including ‘Thai-riffic!’ and ‘The Other Christy’ and was an ambassador for the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge.

Phommavanh appeared at Fairfield Local Court on Friday where he was granted conditional bail

Phommavanh appeared at Fairfield Local Court on Friday where he was granted conditional bail

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Bail conditions include that he must not go near schools or other areas where children congregate

Bail conditions include that he must not go near schools or other areas where children congregate

Phommavanh is understood to have spoken at a number of schools in recent months

Phommavanh is understood to have spoken at a number of schools in recent months

He appeared in Fairfield Local Court on Friday, where a judge granted him bail.

Bail conditions include a $5,000 bond, not to use or possess any Internet-connected devices, and not to enter or loiter in places of education or entertainment where people under 18 are present, such as schools, parks and shopping malls.

He is due to appear in Parramatta Local Court on July 9.



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