A court has heard how a man posed as a teenage girl on Facebook in order to sexually exploit boys, today.
The young man, who was aged 19 at the time, targeted three boys between ages of 13 and 14 to send him sexually explicit pictures of themselves and to masturbate via an online video link.
When questioned by gardai the man in question said he didn’t think there was anything wrong with what he was doing.
The court was told by Judge Mary Ellen Ring that she would deal with the issue of publishing the man’s identity at his sentencing hearing next October.
Justice Ring has remanded the young man to custody and ordered him to undergo further risk assessment by the Probation Services.
Lawyer for the defendant Padraig Dwyer SC, has said that his client is a young man with a full-time job who has no previous convictions and has not offended since the incident.
It is understood that two Facebook profiles were set up as those of a 14-year-old girl and a 14-year-old bisexual boy. The man in question had used actual images of children randomly sourced through a Google images search.
The Dublin man has pleaded guilty to three charges of exploitation of a child and two counts of defilement of a child at locations in Dublin on various dates between April and October 2012.
Judge Ring had described the crime as a “fishing expedition” in which he used photographs of particularly young teenagers to set up the fake accounts.
It is understood that 350 people had accepted the friend requests that were sent from the two fake profiles. It is then believed that the offender then began sending them private messages which began normally but would become more sexual.
The offences came to light when the mother of the first victim checked her son’s iPad and his Facebook messages and saw the sexually explicit conversations with the fake girl.