WESTERN UUSIMAA Police Department on Wednesday announced it has completed a pre-trial investigation into a case in which a roughly 30-year-old man is suspected of sex crimes against a total of 52 girls.
The Espoo resident is suspected of a total of 12 counts of aggravated child sexual abuse, 39 counts of child sexual abuse and two counts of attempted child sexual abuse.
The man approached his victims on the popular social media platforms Instagram and Snapchat, first by sending ordinary messages but quickly changing the tone of the conversation to sexual. He ultimately asked his victims to send photos and videos of themselves and sent similar material to them.
Police have found no evidence that the man ever met any of his victims face to face.
Max Bock, the detective chief inspector in charge of the pre-trial investigation at Western Uusimaa Police Department, said the suspected offences took place between 2018 and 2019. The 9–15-year-old girls approached by the man, he added, are from all over Finland.
The investigators expressed their concern particularly with the fact that only one of the victims told about the messages to an adult and contacted the police in early 2019.
“All of the other incidents were uncovered during our own, comprehensive investigation. As you can determine based on the high number of suspected offences and victims, this case has required a lot of work. I am pleased that we were able to reveal the true nature of the case and that the case is now ready for consideration of charges,” told Bock.
“I hope that parents talk to their children about how to behave on social media platforms and, especially, about what to do if an adult approaches you with strange messages. Children should be encouraged to report the events immediately to a reliable adult, who can help to process the issue and contact the police if necessary,” he added.
The case is already the second widespread child sexual abuse case uncovered in the capital region in recent times.
STT in July reported that a 64-year-old man has been detained on suspicion of sex crimes – including aggravated rape and aggravated child sexual abuse – against at least 12 children in Helsinki. The first of the suspected offences dates back to 2006, according to Helsingin Sanomat.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi