By Robyn Collins
A 42-year-old Australian man has been charged with 931 child sex offenses after he pretended to be Justin Bieber online in order to solicit explicit images from young children, reports the New Zealand Herald.
According to the Queensland Police, the man was charged with numerous offenses, including “possessing child exploitation material and using a carriage service to groom persons under 16.”
With offenses as far back as 2007, the man is now being charged with rape, indecent treatment of children, making child exploitation material, using a carriage service to procure persons under 16, and using a carriage service for child pornography material.
The man’s computer was examined and illicit material was discovered. He allegedly used Facebook, Skype and other online platforms to dupe his victims.
“This investigation demonstrates both the vulnerability of children that are utilizing social media and communication applications and the global reach and skill that child sex offenders have to groom and seduce victims,” Detective Inspector Jon Rouse said in a statement.
“The fact that so many children could believe that they were communicating with this particular celebrity highlights the need for a serious rethink about the way that we as a society educate our children about online safety. The breadth of offenses 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.”