Man who 'posed as Justin Bieber' charged with child sex offences

Australian police said the man faces more than 900 charges

Man who 'posed as Justin Bieber' charged with child sex offences

File photo. Picture by: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive/PA Images

A man allegedly posing as pop star Justin Bieber has been charged with more than 900 child sex offences.

The 42-year-old is accused of using online platforms such as Facebook and Skype to impersonate the Canadian singer.

Police said he then enticed young fans to send him explicit pictures.

Sky News Australia reported that the man was arrested in November last year on a string of child sex offences after a tip-off from German and US authorities led police to raid his home.

In a statement, Queensland Police said: "Detectives had been investigating a man who allegedly posed as Justin online in order to solicit explicit images from young children.

"As part of the investigation, a 42-year-old man had earlier been charged with a number of child sex offences including possessing child exploitation material and using a carriage service to groom persons under 16.

"After a thorough examination of the man's computer, he has been further charged with another 931 child sex offences."

The charges include rape, making child exploitation material, indecent treatment of children, using a carriage service to procure a person under 16 and using a carriage service for child pornography material.

His alleged offending dates back to 2007.

Detective Inspector Jon Rouse described the breadth of offences as "horrendous" and urged Bieber's fans, dubbed Beliebers, to be careful when using the internet.

"This investigation demonstrates both the vulnerability of children that are utilising social media and communication
applications and the global reach and skill that child sex offenders have to groom and seduce victims," he said.

"The fact that so many children could believe that they were communicating with this particular celebrity highlights the need for a serious rethink about the way that we as a society educate our children about online safety."