A young man got a suspended sentence after being found guilty of enticing a minor to sexual activity as well as child grooming offences involving a total of three underage girls.
According to local media, the sexual predator pursued three underage girls online back in 2018, when he was 19 years old, with two of his victims aged 13 and the other 14 at the time.
The man, who used to work as an attendant at a children’s playground in Nicosia, was arrested in late 2018 after the girls and their families filed complaints with the Cyber Crime Unit, accusing him of using fake accounts on Facebook and Instagram to obtain nude photos of the girls.
It also emerged that in one case he had coerced one of them to have online sex with him. According to details in the case, the man managed to obtain 15 fully nude images from the 14-year-old and then sent her a video showing his lower body while pleasuring himself.
The court also heard that the man later threatened to publish her nude photos unless she agreed to masturbate in front of the camera. The teenage girl agreed and she masturbated live on camera during a video call with the predator.
The man managed to obtain 15 images from the 14-year-old pictured fully naked and then sent her a video showing his lower body while pleasuring himself
He also managed to obtain three seminude photos from a 13-year-old girl, while another female of the same age declined to send him nude photos or engage in sexual acts, according to local media.
Cyber police were quickly on to him after complaints were filed, with officers obtaining his IP addresses, one at work and another at home where he lived in the family residence.
Officers also examined confiscated devices and pieces of paper, where the man had written down access information, such as emails, logins, and passwords related to the fake accounts used to contact the girls.
After the man was charged with child grooming and enticing a minor with intent to engage in sexual activity, he reportedly told officers “I apologize, I have nothing more to say at this time.”
A Nicosia criminal court judge panel said the crimes were despicable because they had to do with exploiting sensitive and immature young females “just to satisfy his sexual urges.”
But judges also noted the defendant had a clean criminal record and pleaded guilty ahead of time, thus sparing the girls the trouble and pain they would have to endure during a trial.
The judges further noted that the defendant did not have any physical contact with the girls, but they also pointed out that in one case he sent a video of himself masturbating, effectively turning a minor into a witness to a sexual act.
Mitigating circumstances included the man’s young age today, at 22, but also his age back in 2018, as well as his family and personal circumstances.
Judges imposed a two-year prison sentence suspended for three years, citing grounds for discretion, while the convicted sex offender is also banned from working anywhere near children for the next 10 years.