An unidentified Australian man was arrested and charged with more than 900 child sex offences, impersonating Justin Bieber online in order to lure his young victims.
According to a news release from police in Queensland, Australia, the suspect was charged with multiple crimes, including rape, indecent treatment of children, making child exploitation material and more.
Detectives investigating the suspect went through his computer, allegedly discovered he used multiple social media platforms, including Facebook and Skype, to communicate with underage victims, while cops also found “a large amount of child exploitation” on the computer.
The release also alleges that the perpetrator’s crimes date back to as far as 2007.
“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 the release.
“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,” he adds.
The bust was undertaken through Taskforce Argos, a highly specialized branch of the Queensland Police Service tasked with investigating online exploitation and abuse of children.
“The breadth of offences committed in this instance are frankly horrendous,” added Rouse, “and I want to recognize the efforts and commitment of the investigative team at Taskforce Argos to keeping children safe.”