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Man forces teen girlfriend into sex work

AAP logoAAP 29/08/2016 Genevieve Gannon

A 42-year-old man who was sleeping with a 16-year-old he met on Facebook pimped out his "Pokemon" - his pet name for the teen - to pay for food and rent, a Victorian court has heard.

Father of two Glen Jeffries initially worked as a guard for the teen as she performed sex acts in order to earn money for the pair, but soon he progressed to advertising her services, booking customers and arranging hotel rooms for liaisons with clients.

Jeffries took a $60 cut of everything the vulnerable ward of the state earned, telling police after he was arrested, "I've got no work and that's the only way I could have any income," the Victorian County Court heard on Monday.

He has pleaded guilty to three charges including causing a child to work as a sex worker, and attempting to procure a 13-year-old girl for sex services - which relates to an approach he made to a 13-year-old girl on Facebook.

Prosecutor Diana Manova said the 16-year-old victim had initially performed sex work voluntarily but when she told Jeffries she wanted to stop, he pressured her to continue.

"He provided her with various reasons that she should continue, all of which relate to his needs," Ms Manova said.

Jeffries was 40 when the pair met online after he commented on the girl's Facebook photos, the court heard.

They met up to take drugs, and the teen moved in with Jeffries late in 2014, turning to sex work when the money ran out.

Ms Manova said the relationship between Jeffries and the teen was lawful, but that he took advantage of her vulnerability.

"The accused manipulated her with love," Ms Manova said.

"She had always looked for a father figure and she thought she had found that."

The court heard message exchanges between the pair in which Jeffries tells the teen he loves her and calls her "Pokemon".

Ms Manova said he was acting as her "pimp".

"He's organising hotel rooms. Organising customers. He's advertising her services with prices, he's standing guard while the services are provided," Ms Manova said.

She said the charges demonstrate a preparedness to exploit children.

Defence barrister Belinda Franjic argued Jeffries' offending was at the lower end of the scale because his sexual relationship with the teen was lawful and he had not introduced her to prostitution.

He believed he had fallen in love with her, Ms Franjic said, adding his offending was opportunistic rather than predatory.

Jeffries was released on bail to a date to be set when he will be sentenced.

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