July 17, 2024

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Man suspected of sexually assaulting more than 200 children on Omegle

Man suspected of sexually assaulting more than 200 children on Omegle

A Finn is suspected of sexually assaulting more than 200 children on the American video messaging site Omegle and other social networks between 2022 and 2023, Finnish police said on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old, who has not been named, is suspected of contacting “more than 200 minors”, mainly girls, between the ages of six and 15 in Finland via video message, asking them to “dress scantily and engage”. in sexual acts” on camera, police said.

In pre-trial detention since April, the man is suspected of aggravated sexual abuse of children, sexual exploitation of children and coercion (“grooming”) of children by pedophiles.

The first contacts were made on Omegle and, in some cases, continued on other sites, police said in a press release, saying they are struggling to identify all the victims because many of them were able to access the site, which was closed by the end of 2023, according to police.

Of these more than 200 children, “177 have not yet been identified,” said Petri Lampu, head of investigations at Finland’s Southwest Department of Police.

The alleged offenses were committed in 2022 and 2023 and the police have asked the legal guardians of the child victims to assist in the investigation.

“Given the alleged acts and the number of complainants, this is a large-scale crime,” Lambu said.

Sexual harassment and assault were rampant on Omegle, which launched in 2009, according to Finnish police. Its founder, Leif Kay-Brooks, announced the network’s closure in November 2023.

But the police urged parents to supervise their children’s use of social networks, stressing that “children can also be affected through other applications like TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Discord or Random.”

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