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A U.S. sailor pleaded guilty in Australia to using the Internet to groom a child for sex, a charge that carries a maximum penalty of 12 years in prison, The Associated Press reported Monday.

Petty Officer 2nd Class David Wayne Budd was arrested by the New South Wales Police Force’s Child Exploitation Internet Unit at the Sydney airport June 23.

He was picked up at the Sydney airport after he flew there from Queensland, allegedly to meet a 14-year-old girl who turned out to be a police officer posing as a girl online.

Budd, an electronics technician with the Navy’s San Diego-based Southwest Regional Maintenance Center, was in the country participating in a U.S.-Australia military exercise.

Budd was released on bail July 3 under the condition that he not leave Australia.

He has been staying at an undisclosed location, where he will remain until his sentencing Aug. 31, according to The Associated Press.

Parramatta Magistrate Paula Russell also stipulated that Budd must report to the local police’s Child Protection Unit every Monday, Wednesday and Friday while out on bail; that he not contact any nonrelatives younger than 16; and that he not use the Internet for anything other than his employment or to contact his family in the States.


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