Melbourne rugby player Michael Quinn has been slapped with a 12-year sentence in California after being caught in a police sting attempting to pay $US260 to sexually assault a six-year-old boy.
Quinn, who was travelling to the US with his teammates in the Melbourne Chargers on a rugby trip, was caught by undercover US authorities who had been communicating with him for months. It was alleged that Quinn was organising to attend what he believed would be a paedophile party in an LA hotel room – but was in fact a sting set up by said authorities.
“Aussie perv, heading to the US late May/June interested to meet others while I’m there. LA, Nashville, NYC,” Quinn has posted on a an internet forum used by paedophiles, which had been infiltrated by law enforcement.
The judge who presided over the case described Quinn’s actions and intentions as “absolutely disgusting”, “ghastly” and “despicable”. Quinn has spent the last five months in prison awaiting his trial and sentencing, and was described as “pale and gaunt”. He had argued that this was the first time he had ever done something like this, and his lawyer said that his methamphetamine use had created psychotic thoughts.
“It upsets me so much that I could be capable of harming a child,” Quinn told the judge. “I never want to put a child in danger again.” He also apologised to Australia for “damaging its reputation”.