Child sex offender

Child sex offender used social media to contact and groom underage girls

A child sex offender who used social media to contact his victims offered a 9-year-old girl money to have sex with him, a court has heard.

Michael Loye appeared before Judge Ida Malosi in the Whanganui District Court on Monday for sentencing on a raft of charges involving the sexual exploitation of children.

Loye had previously pleaded guilty to 14 charges of possession of an objectionable publication, two each of exposing a young person to indecent material and unlawful possession of a firearm, and one of sexual grooming, travels to meet a young person.

Crown prosecutor Claire Middleton argued no discount should be given for remorse because Loye continued to try to deflect the blame on to his two victims.

Middleton said Loye’s lack of insight was concerning and there was a clear risk his offending would escalate as he continued to deny his sexual interest in children.

Defence lawyer Mark Winter said Loye was willing to address the issues but it was a work in progress and he had a lot of work to do.

Judge Malosi said that in May 2021 police searched Loye’s home and seized a laptop computer, cellphone and three firearms including a .22, 12-gauge shotgun, .177 rifle and ammunition.

Loye began following his first victim, a 9-year-old girl, on Instagram in January 2020 and by May was asking if she did naughty things and if she would join him in his bed.

In July he told her he would like to see her dance in her underwear and she should make a video dancing naked, before offering her $100 to have sex with him.