‘Teen celeb’ in sex act blackmail: cops
A Perth man who allegedly pretended to be a teenage social media celebrity to blackmail girls online into performing sex acts has been hit with a further 65 charges.
Muhammad Zain Ul Abideen Rasheed, 25, is now facing 312 charges relating to 285 alleged victims.
Mr Rasheed, of Parkwood, was hit with the fresh charges in custody ahead of an expected appearance at Perth Magistrate's Court on Friday.
Australian Federal Police said the charges related to alleged victims, some aged just 11 years old, in Australia and overseas.
The AFP have accused Mr Rasheed of multiple counts of compelling a victim to engage in sexual behaviour and performing acts in preparation for engaging in sexual activity with a person aged under 16 years old.
They said he was also accused of multiple counts of using a carriage service to menace or harass by threatening to send and share embarrassing images relating to a victim if she did not meet his demands.
Police will allege the man posed as an online celebrity to befriend girls in Australia and other countries before "sextorting" them.
"He allegedly asked sexually explicit questions and would edit the written chat to change the girls' answers," the AFP said in a statement.
"Police allege he would threaten to send screen shots of the doctored conversations to their friends and family if they refused to provide nude photographs or perform sexual acts live on camera for him and others to watch.
"Police will allege when a victim complied with his demands, he would record the sexually explicit behaviour and threaten to release it to people they knew unless they performed more extreme behaviour."
The man also allegedly had online conversations with other people about the offending.
Officers from the Western Australia Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team are working with international law enforcement partners and social media companies to try to identify the girls targeted to check on their welfare and provide support.
AFP Detective Senior Constable Barry Duman said it had been heartbreaking to see the distress and fear experienced by the girls targeted in the seized recordings.
"We will never give up our fight to keep children safe, and we urge parents and carers to help us by talking to children about what platforms, apps and games they are using and reminding them never to reveal personal information to any 'friends' they meet online," he said.
Mr Rasheed previously faced court in October last year charged with the alleged sextortion of 112 girls after tip-offs from the United States' Homeland Security Investigations and Interpol.
He was also hit with 134 additional offences in January.
Members of the public who have any information about people involved in child abuse and exploitation have been urged to report it via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation.
Originally published as 'Teen celeb' in sex act blackmail: cops