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Aust predator despicable: US judge

AAP logoAAP 31/10/2016 By Peter Mitchell, AAP US Correspondent

Michael Quinn, who was caught in a US hotel room attempting to pay $US260 to rape a six-year-old boy, stood at his sentencing in a downtown Los Angeles court with tears in his eyes and voice quivering.

The tall, once strapping Melbourne Chargers rugby union forward and IVF geneticist was pale and gaunt after five months awaiting his fate in the US prison system.

The 33-year-old's ankles were shackled and his suffering parents, Anna and John, who had flown in from Australia to support him, sat in the courtroom to his left.

"If you give me a second chance I won't let you down," Quinn told US District Court Judge John Walter

Judge Walter showed little leniency, sentencing Quinn to 12 years' jail - the term prosecutors had asked for.

Quinn's lawyer had asked for 10 years.

The veteran judge described Quinn's desire to attend what Quinn believed was a pedophile party at an LA hotel room and pay a pimp to allow him to rape a young boy as "absolutely disgusting", "ghastly" and "despicable".

The party was a sting set up by undercover US authorities who had been communicating with Quinn online for several weeks in Melbourne before he departed on a rugby trip to the US with some of his Chargers team-mates.

"Aussie perv, heading to the US late May/June interested to meet others while I'm there. LA, Nashville, NYC," Quinn posted on a social media site used by pedophiles.

A US undercover agent saw the post, began communicating with Quinn, Quinn told him of his wish to rape a boy and authorities set up the sting for when he arrived in LA in May.

Quinn claimed he has never molested a child before his arrest and the sting was the first opportunity offered him.

His lawyer, Lisa Shinar LaBarre, said Quinn's severe addiction to methamphetamine had altered his thinking and created psychotic thoughts.

Quinn had also claimed to have been abused as a child.

The court heard a psychologist who examined Quinn in jail concluded it was unlikely he would reoffend.

Judge Walter said he was not "overly impressed" by the doctor's report, noting Quinn did not undergo standard testing for pedophilia.

"It upsets me so much that I could be capable of harming a child," Quinn, dressed in a white prison jumpsuit, told the judge.

Quinn also apologised to Australia for "damaging its reputation" and told the court "I never want to put a child in danger again".

Judge Walter said he did not "buy" the cause and effect of Quinn's drug addiction and the abuse he suffered as a child.

"The defendant had every intention of raping a boy," the judge said.

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