First man convicted under fake underage webcam sting

21 Oct 2014

Sweetie, the digital 10-year-old

An Australian man is understood to be the first person convicted as part of the Terre des Hommes network that created Sweetie, a digital 10-year-old, to catch online sexual predators.

Scott Robert Hansen, who believed he was talking to a Filipino child, is a registered sex offender and after his chat logs with the program were taken as evidence and shown in court, pleaded guilty to attempting to encourage the child to perform sexual acts for him for money.

He also admitted to sending Sweetie a number of disturbing and illicit pictures of himself and admitted to the court to having a number of child pornography images on his home computer.

Last year, the children’s rights organisation that created Sweetie, Terre des Hommes, garnered attention after Sweetie was found to have helped track down more than 1,000 online predators across 65 countries but convictions, if applicable, will only start appearing now.

The BBC was able to obtain some of the disturbing chat logs for the Hansen case, which clearly showed he was aware the child was underage but proceeded to ask her, or rather the team of researchers posing as her, to perform sexual acts for him.

One of the researchers who wanted to remain anonymous revealed that Hansen was one of the more disturbing cases they had dealt with.

“He was very direct, at one point he asked us to get our fictional eight-year-old sister involved. It was very difficult to go to sleep at night after interacting with someone like Hansen.”

Under his conviction, Hansen will now be given a 12-month correctional order and made to undergo a programme for the treatment of sexual offenders.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic