Police said they seized a large amount of exploitation material from the man’s computer, including child pornography dating back 10 years. Further investigation of his computer led police to discover that he was contacting victims using multiple online platforms, including Facebook and Skype. The man had allegedly posed as Bieber online in order to solicit services from children under the age of 16.
“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,” Queensland Detective Inspector Jon Rouse said in a statement.
The man’s 931 charges include rape, indecent treatment of children, making child exploitation material, using an illegal sex trafficking website, and using a carriage service for child pornography material.
According to a report by Interpol, an international police organization dedicated to preventing human trafficking, the spread of the internet has led to a huge rise in child sex offending. Sex offenders can upload a photo in one country and see it disseminated almost instantly, leading to a growth in sex tourism where laws are less strict.
“The breadth of offenses committed in this instance are frankly horrendous,” Rouse said. “The efforts and commitment of the investigative team at Taskforce Argos to keeping children safe.”
The offender was charged and arrested by Argos Taskforce, a special police unit based in Queensland dedicated to investigating child exploitation, particularly on the internet.
The Queensland police were quick to warn parents of Bieber fans worldwide to be especially vigilant when their children use the internet, particularly when they use social media platforms.