Aus Rugby Union Player Pleads Guilty To Child Sex Offences
Michael Quinn's dark desires were sickening and for the next decade the Melbourne rugby union forward will be punished for them in a US jail cell.
The tall, powerfully built 33-year-old admitted in the US District Court on Wednesday to travelling to Los Angeles to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a six-year-old boy.
The boy, thankfully, did not exist.
Quinn, a Monash University-educated geneticist at a Melbourne IVF clinic and a popular member of the Melbourne Chargers rugby team, was captured by an undercover sting at a beachside Los Angeles hotel on May 21.
Quinn went to the hotel room expecting to meet other pedophiles and a pimp, and for $US250 ($A334), sex with a six-year-old boy.
Instead, the pedophiles and pimp were undercover agents from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations unit.
In a plea deal with prosecutors, Quinn will spend the next 10 to 13 years locked up in prison.
"Mr Quinn travelled to the United States to have sex with a young child," US Attorney Eileen Decker said.
"Fortunately, law enforcement was able to ensure that no child was put in harm's way and that Mr Quinn would face severe consequences for his conduct."
Quinn found his way on to US law enforcement's radar weeks before he flew to Los Angeles with his Chargers teammates, who authorities say had no idea about Quinn's plans.
An undercover agent was perusing a social networking site catering to online groups who "expressed their sexual interest in children" when he found a post from Quinn, who went by "Mick" on the site.
Quinn stated on the site he was travelling from Australia to LA.
The agent started a conversation with Quinn and the Australian told how he was "looking for sex with children" and while "he liked both boys and girls, his favourite were boys, aged 5-10".
"Would love to share one with you mate," Quinn allegedly told the agent.
The agent set up a sting.
Two days after Quinn landed in Los Angeles and after he settled in with some team-mates at a Hollywood Hills home they had rented, Quinn snuck away.
He caught an Uber to the hotel where the undercover agent had promised a child sex party with "like-minded men".
When Quinn arrived, the hotel room was prepped for the "party", with the Cartoon Network on the TV and Toy Story-themed cupcakes to eat.
Quinn brought a camera and a monopod to record the day.
After about 10 minutes in the room and a beer, an agent posing as a pimp turned up and announced: "Money time."
"Quinn, clearly remembering the previous discussions where he had been told the price would be $US250 to sodomise the boy for approximately an hour, he pulled out his money and gave the pimp $US260," ICE special agent Aaron McClellan wrote in the criminal complaint.
"After Quinn paid the pimp, law enforcement came into the room and arrested everyone."
Quinn was originally charged with attempted sex trafficking of a minor, which carries a minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum of life without parole, but that was dropped in the plea deal.
The charge he pleaded guilty to - travelling to the US for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor - carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.
Quinn will be sentenced in Los Angeles on October 3.
A judge will have to agree to the 10- to 13-year jail sentence negotiated by Quinn's lawyer and prosecutors.
While in the US, Quinn and his Chargers teammates had planned to play in the Bingham Cup in Nashville, Tennessee, a tournament honouring September 11 hero and pioneer of gay rugby clubs, Mark Bingham.