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TV producer jailed for teen sex lure
A Melbourne TV producer and DJ has been jailed for three years after he was caught out soliciting a teenager for sex on the Internet.
Robert Perello, 41, of Yarraville, pleaded guilty in the Victorian County Court to one count of using a carriage service to procure a child under 16 for sex.
Judge Pamela Jenkins said Perello logged on to an Internet site using the identity 'scaredofmum' three times between August 3 and August 8, 2007. He engaged in a sexually suggestive conversation with 'ozgurl16', who was an police officer posing as a 14-year-old girl named Lisa.
Judge Jenkins said Perello asked the girl to be his secret girlfriend and to let him teach her about sex.
"I'm looking for a girlfriend of your age who I can trust," she said he told 'Lisa'.
She said he asked Lisa not to tell anyone about them, not even her best friend.
"You stated that 14 was OK," she said. "You made arrangements to meet the following Monday."
Perello sent Lisa a photograph of himself that was a composite image of him, fully dressed, in three separate poses, smiling at the camera, Judge Jenkins said.
She said Lisa had asked Perello why he would want to have a relationship with a 14-year-old girl. He replied: "Because I like the idea of teaching you... it turns me on that your (sic) younger and want me to play with you. I also like the idea of you trusting me... I've never done it before either.
"You asked her to wear a pleated skirt as you loved them," Judge Jenkins said.
She said Perello had offered to buy Lisa an iPod, but had told her she had to "earn it".
"During the conversation you also state that you would not buy her an iPod before you met because she had to earn it."
Judge Jenkins said Perello had arranged to meet Lisa at Broadmeadows railway station, but on the day of the meeting a female undercover officer posing as Lisa called him and told him to meet her at nearby Jacana station instead.
When he got there he was arrested.
Judge Jenkins said that although Lisa was not a real person Perello had not engaged in a victimless crime.
"Your conversation was persistent. You promised inducements. You implored Lisa to maintain secrecy about the relationship.
"Your victim as you believed was an immature naive and trusting adolescent."
Perello, who has previously worked at Fox Footy, Channel Seven and the BBC, as well as presenting a weekly show on KISS FM, was recently employed by the reality TV show I'm A Celebrity: Get Me Out Of Here.
Judge Jenkins dismissed Perello's counsel's claim that his actions were spontaneous.
She said physiological evidence provided to the court showed Perello had an unhealthy obsession with pornography and sex.
"Your obsession ... with pornography has clearly driven you to pursue an under age girl to satisfy your increased sexual demands."
She sentenced him to three years jail, to serve six months. The remainder of the sentence will be suspended for two years.
The Age (26-5-2008)
IPod-for-teen-sex DJ jailed
A Melbourne DJ who offered a police officer posing as a 14-year-old girl an iPod in exchange for sex will spend six months behind bars.
Robert Perello, 41, of Yarraville, pleaded guilty to one count of using a carriage service to procure a person under 16 for sexual activity.
The Victorian County Court was told Perello made contact with what he thought was a 14-year-old girl on an Internet chat room site and arranged to meet her.
But the apparent girl, nicknamed ozgurl16, was an undercover federal police officer and Perello was arrested during at attempt to meet her.
The court heard Perello, using the Internet nickname scaredofmum, told ozgurl16 he wanted a girlfriend her age and that he would teach her about sex.
He told the girl she would be his "secret girlfriend" and that he would buy her an iPod but she would have to "earn it".
Judge Pamela Jenkins said Perello's behaviour was deliberate and calculated with "reckless disregard" for the victim.
She said his crime was aggravated by his promise of inducements, desire to keep the relationship secret and repeated assurance to the police officer posing as the girl that her supposed age posed no problem.
"Your intention to engage in sexual relations could hardly be more apparent," she said.
The court was told Perello had a fragile personality, suffered anxiety problems and mood swings.
Judge Jenkins ordered he immediately serve six months' jail and then a two-year good behaviour bond where he would be supervised by a probation officer and undertake any relevant counselling or sex offender programs.
DJ offered iPod for teen sex
A Melbourne TV producer and DJ thought he was talking to a teenage girl when he logged onto an Internet chat site.
Instead, an undercover federal police officer caught him offering a 14-year-old girl an iPod in exchange for sex.
Robert Perello, 41, of Yarraville, pleaded guilty in the Victorian County Court yesterday to one count of using a carriage service to procure a child under 16 for sex.
Crown prosecutor Krista Breckweg said Perello logged on to an Internet site using the identity scaredofmum three times between August 3 and 8, 2007 where he engaged in a sexually suggestive conversation with ozgurl16, who was an AFP officer posing as 14-year-old girl, Lisa.
In the exchanges, Perello asked the girl to be his secret girlfriend and to let him teach her about sex. He sent her a photograph of himself that was a composite image of him, fully dressed, in three separate poses, smiling at the camera, Ms Breckweg told the court.
She said that Lisa had asked Perello why he would want to have a relationship with a 14-year-old girl and he replied: "because I like the idea of teaching you... it turns me on that your (sic) younger and want me to play with you. I also like the idea of you trusting me... I've never done it before either".
She said Perello had arranged to meet Lisa at Broadmeadows railway station. However, on the day of the meeting a female undercover officer posing as Lisa called him and told him to meet her at Jacana station instead.
When he got there he was arrested.
Diane New, for Perello, told the court her client regretted the incident and that he had been suffering from anxiety and depression at the time of offending.
She said he had spilt up with his partner of almost ten years in 2006 and that he had been unable to get over it.
The court heard Perello had previously worked at Fox Footy Channel, Channel Seven and the BBC, as well as presenting a show once a week on KISS FM.
Ms New said Perello knew his behaviour was abhorrent and was ashamed of what he had done, but she asked Judge Pamela Jenkins not to impose an immediate jail term.
She said an appropriate penalty could be "accomplished by a community based order or a wholly suspended sentence".
But Judge Jenkins disagreed. She remanded Perello in custody, saying it was most likely she would impose an immediate jail term.
Perello will be sentenced on May 26.
The Age (13-5-2008)
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