Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 10:15
Webcam abuser had dozens of victims
A 35-year old man who was arrested in Tilburg in January for sexually abusing underage girls via webcam had dozens of victims. According to the Public Prosecution Authority (OM), the man victimized children in The Netherlands, Great Britain and the United States of America, but may also have had victims in other countries. The man is guilty of soliciting underage girls to perform sexual acts via webcam, and then recording and keeping those images. A spokesperson for the OM says that among the victims, between 30 and 40 are Dutch. Several have been identified and notified. In half-January, the man was arrested in the region of Tilburg. The suspect was brought in front of the court for the first time on Wednesday. The judges extended his custody time with three months. Wednesday was the first time that details from this case were made accessible to the public. The reason it was kept under wraps was, according to the OM spokesperson, for the sensitivity "of all involved." The OM is still working to identify all the victims on the basis of the material seized from the suspect. As of yet, it is unclear exactly how many girls were approached by the man, but the investigation does rule out physical abuse. The Department of Justice also suspects that the man swindled adult men abroad to engage in sexual acts in front of the webcam with the thought that they were in contact with children. The man then threatened to take the images to the police if they didn't pay up. Along with abuse, the man is also being charged with assault, making and spreading child pornography, swindling, hacking and hard drugs possession. These charges will be followed up with cooperation from foreign authorities, including the British National Crime Agency.