A Qld man is facing child exploitation charges, after allegedly telling an American girl he would publish indecent photos of her unless she sent him more.
A Brisbane man used a social messaging app to obtain indecent photos of a young American girl and threatened to publish them if she didn’t send more, police say.
Officers say they’re deeply disturbed by threats made against the 12-year-old North Carolina girl, who was preyed upon by a number of men including the 22-year-old from Brisbane.
“It was very threatening. It would border on the line of what is now a common term – `sextortion’,” Queensland Detective Inspector Jon Rouse told reporters on Friday.
“Children aren’t really capable of coping with that type of threat.”
Police allege the Brisbane man made contact with the girl via the Kik social messaging app, and over the course of 110 pages of chat, coerced her into sending him images.
The girl’s mother, who regularly monitored her child’s phone and iPad activity, found those images along with photos of male genitalia that had been sent to her.
She realised a large number of men were preying on the girl, and alerted local authorities on June 30. But North Carolina police hit a brick wall when they tried to identify the offenders by going to the app’s Canadian makers.
After three weeks, authorities finally obtained the men’s internet addresses, and US police contacted officers in Queensland, sparking the Brisbane man’s arrest on Thursday night.
He’s been charged with one count of using the internet to procure a child.
But he’s expected to face further charges after computer equipment seized from his River Hills home is analysed. He’s due to face court on August 12.
Det Insp Rouse said the case should serve as a stark warning to parents.
“It all occurred behind her parents’ backs,” he said.
“It is extremely important parents take the time this weekend to look at all of the apps their children are using, get to know them and most importantly (determine) who they are talking to.
“Anyone can say that they are `14-years-old and share the same interests’. But how do you know they are who they say they are?
“My advice to children is if something feels wrong, if you get the slightest feeling this person is not who they say they are, tell someone.”