A 42-year-old Australian man was charged on Wednesday with over 900 child sex offenses after police found him impersonating pop star, Justin Bieber, to solicit explicit online photographs of children.
The suspect’s identity was not revealed, but police say that the man was already facing charges in Queensland State of possessing material exploiting children, and of using the internet and social media to entrap children under age 16, according to a statement by the Queensland Police.
The man added on 931 charges after police searched his computer. He now faces charges including rape, the indecent treatment of children and “making child-exploitation material” which extend back to at least a decade ago, police say.
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The man allegedly used several different social media platforms including Facebook and Skype to reach his victims. The New York Times reports that police raided his devices after he refused to allow access to his social media accounts.
Detective Inspector Jon Rouse praises the team that brought the sex offender to justice.
“The breadth of offences committed in this instance are frankly horrendous and I want to recognize the efforts and commitment of the investigative team at Taskforce Argos to keeping children safe.”
Interpol, an international police organization, attributes the rise in sex crimes against children to the easy access provided by the internet and social media, which give predators a way to contact and communicate with their victims.
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime recently completed a study which made the point that social media platforms that allow users to input biological information make it easier for offenders to identify their victims.
“Offenders are able to gain easier access to larger and new populations of children through the use of online forums, email, social networks and other internet-based communication tools.”
The study went on the find that child abusers can have higher levels of education, which make them better at using technology to access victims.
[Feature Photo: Joel Ryan/Invision]