British police have arrested a man and accused him of child rape, despite having never met his victims, as reported by Daily Mail.
Authorities alleged that Paul Leighton, 32, posed as children online and persuaded actual kids to perform sex acts or take photographs of themselves naked.
These gruesome incidents occurred all over the world and investigators believe there may be several hundred victims, as Leighton has already pleaded guilty to more than 20 charges.
Leighton met these kids online and slowly groomed them into doing what he wanted. Police say he “directed” their actions and would blackmail them if they refused one of his horrific requests. He is alleged to have even persuaded one 15-year-old girl into abusing her infant sister. One victim was only two, court records indicate.
Since there was an element of coercion involved in the sex acts, British authorities were able to charge him with actual child rape. This case is the first of its kind, in which someone accused of rape had never met their victims in the flesh.
— kwilliam (@kwilliam111) September 3, 2017
Investigators say Leighton is the worst child abuser they had ever come across, even branding him a “spine-chilling reminder” of the dangers of children talking to strangers online.
“Hundreds of families will never recover from the trauma of these offenses and will have to live with what he has done to them for the rest of their lives,” Detective Sergeant Peter Morgan said. “His actions have had devastating impacts across the world. He was calculated and sophisticated in his approach to this abuse and his lack of thought for his victims is spine-chilling.”
Leighton was finally caught after a family member of one of the alleged victims filed a criminal complaint and police managed to trace his online address.
‘Unfortunately we live in a world where sick, vile creatures like Paul Leighton take advantage of young children using the internet,” Officer Michael Barton told reporters. “He committed these offenses on a mobile phone and used the cover of fake social media profiles to carry out abuse that many of us could not even comprehend.”
The 32-year-old pleaded guilty to three counts of rape, two sexual assaults on girls under 13, four counts of causing or inciting grooming, three counts of making and two counts of distributing indecent photographs, three counts of blackmail, one count of assault on a girl under 13, and one count of possessing a class B drug.
Once the British courts are done with him, the FBI has plans to extradite Leighton to America where he will face additional charges on behalf of victims living in the United States.
[Featured Image: Twitter]