A Queensland law lecturer who allegedly posed online as Justin Bieber has been charged with more than 900 child sex offences.
Gordon Douglas Chalmers, a lecturer at the Queensland University of Technology, is accused of using multiple social media platforms including Facebook and Skype to impersonate the pop star and convince fans to send him naked photos of themselves.
Mr Chalmers was arrested after a tip-off from German and US authorities.
More than 900 charges
Queensland police raided Mr Chalmers’ home and subsequently analysed his computer and social media accounts, resulting in 931 criminal charges being brought against him.
The charges include indecent treatment of children and possessing child exploitation material. Police claim they found a large number of images on the lecturer’s computer, and that his offending dates back at least 10 years.
Police say the conduct is one of the most serious they have encountered. They are urging parents to be extra vigilant when it comes to monitoring the online activities of their children.
Children are vulnerable online
“This investigation demonstrates both the vulnerability of children that are utilising social media and communication applications, and the global reach and skill that child sex offenders have to groom and seduce victims,” remarked Detective Inspector Jon Rouse who is part of Taskforce Argos, a branch of Queensland Police Force which investigates online child exploitation and abuse.
“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.”
Mr Chalmers will appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court in April.
Several years ago, the Queensland government increased penalties for child sex offenders, more than doubling some maximum penalties. Mr Chalmers is charged with offences that now carry maximum penalties of 10 and 14 years imprisonment.
Anonymous brings down 10,000 child porn sites
It was reported this week that Anonymous recently cracked and deleted 10,000 child pornography websites.
Anonymous is a global collective of activists who stand up for social injustices, and it is believed its members hacked into the Dark Web – an encrypted network that protects user identities. While the dark web has legitimate uses, it is also a place where illegal transactions in drugs, pornography, weapons and even people occurs.
It has been reported that Anonymous deleted the equivalent of one-fifth of the world’s child pornography sites, something which law enforcement agencies have been unable to achieve despite their enormous resources.