000 operator charged over sex messages
A civilian NSW Police officer facing allegations that he sent sexually explicit messages to a child via Pinterest has been freed on bail.
Nicolas Pierre Faivre, 42, was arrested and charged when Australian Federal Police raided his Blue Mountains home on Monday following a tip-off from US authorities.
Mr Faivre, a triple-0 operator with the NSW Police and a former Mormon Bishop, has been charged with two counts of using a carriage service to transmit indecent communications with a person under 16 years.
Police have accused him of engaging in sexually explicit conversations with a child and if found guilty, he is facing a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
The Katoomba man was on Thursday released on 11 strict bail conditions, including that he not access the internet or social media, when he successfully applied to the Penrith Local Court.
He was granted bail by Magistrate Bree Chisholm after the police prosecution did not oppose his release.
His defence lawyer Jasmina Ceic told the court that he should be released because he needed to support his family, including his wife from whom he is separated, and was responsible for their mortgage repayments.
Ms Ceic said that he was a triple-0 operator and that he could be fired because he is facing serious criminal allegations.
"It's likely he will lose his job and will have to look for other employment," Ms Ceic said.
NSW Police said in a statement that Mr Faivre had been suspended from duty.
Mr Faivre is also a former bishop with the Leura Ward of the Church of Latter Day Saints.
In a 2017 interview with the Guardian he talked of the healing power of religion.
"In the past 10 years I've had two stepbrothers and one aunty take their own lives because of mental illness, namely depression," Mr Faivre said at the time.
" … I sometimes wonder if they suffered in silence. I often wonder what would have happened if they would have opened their hearts (to the church)."
On Thursday, Ms Ceic conceded he was facing serious allegations but said any concerns about Mr Faivre offending while released on bail could be minimised by strict conditions which he had agreed to.
She said that he had agreed to live at Guildford with his mother, who had offered to sever her house's internet connection while he was living there.
His bail conditions include that he does not access the internet or social media.
He is also prohibited from using any computer or electronic device, including a mobile phone, which can access the internet.
As well, he must not contact any person under 16 years or go within 100 metres of a playground or school.
The AFP raided his Blue Mountains home on Monday, seizing a mobile phone and two tablet devices after officers received a report from the US-based National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.
Police said they received the tip-off about an Australian-based Pinterest user allegedly lying about his age when interacting with children online.
Mr Faivre will next appear before the court in March.
Originally published as 000 operator charged over sex messages