A 25-year-old Parkwood man has been apprehended over his alleged involvement in the international ‘sextortion’ of 285 girls.
The man allegedly pretended to be a teenage social media celebrity to befriend girls online, before blackmailing them.
He allegedly asked sexually explicit questions, and would later edit the written chat to change the girls’ answers.
It is alleged he would threaten to send screenshots of the doctored conversations to their friends and family.
The girls, located in Australia and several other countries, were forced to provide nude photographs or perform sex acts live on camera.
When a victim would comply with his demands, it is alleged he would record the sexually explicit behaviour.
He would allegedly threaten to release the footage to people they knew, unless they performed even more extreme behaviour.
It is also alleged he held conversations, about his offending, with other people online.
Some of the man’s alleged victims were believed to be as young as 11 years of age.
Australian Federal Police worked with the WA Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team, international law enforcement partners, and social media companies to find the person/s responsible.
They also sought to identify the girls targeted, check on their welfare, and provide support.
Since being remanded into custody, the man has received 312 charges relating to the collection of child abuse material.
AFP Detective Senior Constable Barry Duman, from WA JACET, was tasked with reviewing the seized recordings.
He said the AFP and WA JACET would continue to protect children, both in Australia and around the world, from abuse and exploitation.
“We will never give up our fight to keep children safe,” he said.
“We urge parents and carers to help us by talking to children about what platforms, apps, and games they are using and reminding them never to reveal personal information to any ‘friends’ they meet online.
“Supervision is not only critical to prevent an incident occurring, but can also help adults to quickly take action if something goes wrong.
“If your child is or has been a victim, reassure them that it’s not their fault and that there is help available.
“Children and young people are never to blame for being a victim of online child sexual exploitation.”
The man faced the Perth Magistrates Court on April 23, and is expected to return at a later date.