A serving Metropolitan Police officer has pleaded not guilty to a series of child sex offences including grooming a 13-year-old girl to meet up with him for sex.
Francois Olwage, a detective constable who is attached to the Met’s specialist operations, entered his pleas to four charges at Winchester Crown Court.
The 51-year-old was arrested at an address in Basingstoke, Hampshire, after he had been in communication with the profile of the 13-year-old girl as part on an undercover operation by Hertfordshire Police.
The defendant, of Wornham Avenue, Stevenage, appeared by video-link from HMP Winchester for the short hearing on Friday.
He pleaded not guilty to engaging in sexual communication with a child and attempting to cause/incite a girl aged 13 to 15 to engage in sexual activity.
He also entered not guilty pleas to arranging/facilitating the commission of a child sex offence and meeting a girl under the age of 16 following grooming.
Prosecutors say the alleged offences occurred between October 14 and 29 this year.
Judge Susan Evans QC ordered Olwage to remain in custody and set a trial date of April 11 next year, with a further pre-trial hearing to be held on March 18.
She told the defendant: “I am going to adjourn your case now for a trial on the 11th April.
“Although you are in custody, it’s very important you attend your trial even if you are in custody and if you do not attend, your trial may take place in your absence and you may be committing another offence.”
The Met previously said its Directorate of Professional Standards has been informed and Olwage has been suspended.
The matter has also been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.