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Man impersonating Bieber online charged with over 900 child sex offences

Media note – there will be no media conference or interviews on this matter for operational reasons.

Police are asking Justin Bieber fans and their parents to be extra vigilant when using the internet after a man was charged with multiple serious offences after posing as the singer online.

Detectives from Argos had been investigating a man who allegedly posed as Justin online in order to solicit explicit images from young children.

As part of the investigation, a 42-year-old man had earlier been charged with a number of child sex offences including possessing child exploitation material and using a carriage service to groom persons under 16.

After a thorough examination of the man’s computer, he has this week been further charged with another 931 child sex offences.

It will be alleged that the man used multiple online platforms including Facebook and Skype to communicate with his victims.

A large amount of child exploitation material was seized from his computer. It is alleged his offending dates back to at least 2007.

The man has been further charged by Detectives today on offences including, rape, indecent treatment of children, making child exploitation material, using a carriage service to procure person under 16, and using a carriage service for child pornography material.

Detective Inspector Jon Rouse said Argos would continue to target those using the internet to harm children.

“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,” Detective Inspector Rouse said.

“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.

“The breadth of offences committed in this instance are frankly horrendous and I want to recognise the efforts and commitment of the investigative team at Taskforce Argos to keeping children safe.”

Argos will have a booth at the Out of the Dark Expo on Saturday March 11 between 10am and 3pm at the State Library of Queensland. Detectives will be on hand to answer questions from parents about the best way to keep their children safe online. For more info visit: http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/whats-on/calevents/general/digital-futures/out-of-the-dark-expo

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.

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