Trigger warning: This post deals with child abuse and may be triggering for some readers.
An Australian man has been convicted following an online sting that identified 1,000 paedophiles.
Charity workers from European organisation Terre Des Hommes went undercover, posing as a 10-year-old Filipina girl called “Sweetie” — in reality, a realistic-looking computer model — to catch out child sex offenders.
The BBC reports the programme involved four workers posing as Sweetie over 10 weeks in June and July last year — and it tracked down and identified 1,000 paedophiles, including a reported 46 Australian men, in that short time.
In November, the paedophiles’ information was passed on to Interpol and local police in 71 countries — and now, 37-year-old Brisbane man Scott Robert Hansen has pleaded guilty to three charges in Brisbane District Court.
This video explains the Sweetie avatar — and how she caught hundreds of men out. Story continues below:
The Daily Mail reports Hansen’s charges were using a carriage service to transmit indecent communications to a child under 16, failure to comply with a sex offenders order, and possession of child pornography.
He is believed to be the first person to have been convicted as the result of the undercover sting, the BBC reports.
Hansen is a registered sex offender who was first convicted for wilful exposure in 1995 for repeatedly flashing young girls on a school bus.
He was again convicted in 1999 for flashing young girls, and in 2009 was sentenced to 18 months in jail for flashing — and attempting to abduct — an eight-year-old schoolgirl, news.com.au reports.