A MAN will face more than 20 child abuse charges after an investigation into alleged online child exploitation in the Hunter.
Detectives from the specialist Child Abuse and Sex Crime Squad's Strike Force Trawler began investigating in September after they engaged online with a man from the region.
"Police will allege in court that the man believed he was speaking with the 37-year-old mother of a nine-year-old girl and engaged in sexually explicit conversations about acts he wished to perform on the child," police said in a statement.
"It will be further alleged that the man also believed he was speaking with a 14-year-old girl and engaged in conversations about sex acts he wished to perform on the teenager."
Investigations led officers to arrest the 34-year-old man at a Hunter property shortly after 11am on Thursday.
Police also searched the home, seizing a mobile phone and electronic storage devices.
The 34-year-old was taken to Muswellbrook police station and charged with a range of offences including use carriage service to groom under 16 years for sex, 19 counts of use carriage service transmit/publish/promote child abuse, and possess child abuse material.
He was refused bail to face Newcastle Local Court.
Strike Force Trawler is an ongoing operation into the sexual abuse and exploitation of children made possible through the internet and telecommunications.
Detectives regularly conduct convert investigations and work closely with law enforcement interstate and overseas.
Anyone with concerns about the suspected abuse or exploitation of children should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.