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At the time, current estimates put the number of online photos of sexually abused and exploited children at more than 1 million.According to the BBC, Hunter was caught after a girl from Tasmania told police of her victimization.Hunter was apprehended in December 2011 after police used Interpol to trace his victims.Posing as Bieber, he convinced girls that he wanted to be their boyfriend.Hunter also posed as a teenage girl in order to convince schoolboys to perform sex acts on camera.Before he was caught, one victim, a 12-year-old girl, slashed her arms after Hunter posted indecent photos of her on Facebook, along with her address and phone number, the BBC reports.
Hunter used Facebook, Skype, and MSN to communicate with the young victims, according to Sky News.Prosecutor Richard Bennett told the British publication Metro that Hunter hid his age while talking to his victims and that "as a further demonstration of the naivete and innocence of his victims, he was also able to persuade some that he was the music artist Justin Bieber." He reportedly told the young girls, posing as Bieber, that he would be their boyfriend if they stripped for him, BBC reported.The BBC quoted Justice Bowers: Hunter pleaded guilty at Teesside Crown Court to 15 charges of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and 14 of making indecent photos.What can be done to protect children from predators like Hunter? In December 2012, 48 countries joined forces to launch the most expansive fight ever against the spread of online child sex abuse.
Robert Hunter, a 35-year-old man from Middlesbrough, UK, is now serving a 14-year sentence for abusing girls and boys as young as 9 from across Europe, Asia, Canada and the US via Facebook and other sites, Skype, and MSN, according to The Guardian.
Beyond posing as teenage heart-throb Justin Bieber, between 20, Hunter used a number of online aliases, hiding behind photos of teenage boys and pretending to be a teenager himself, The Guardian quoted prosecutor Richard Bennett as saying: He went after both genders.