NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 17:54
The police have received five new reports because of the online abuse case for which a 24-year-old man is detained, the OM reports. It is being investigated whether the new reports can be linked to this suspect.
Yesterday it was announced that 24-year-old Gianni de W. is suspected of extorting more than a hundred girls. The Public Prosecution Service spoke of “one of the largest investigations in the Netherlands ever”.
150 folders with different girls’ names were found on De W.’s computer, sometimes containing thousands of photos of the victim. He threatened to put the photos online if they didn’t send him even more footage. In some cases he did.
Research takes a long time
The investigation team consists of ten detectives, the OM reports. The investigation is expected to take a long time. All subfolders, sometimes containing thousands of images of a victim, must be checked and the victim’s identity must be found out. Subsequently, contact must be made with the victim.
The identities of several dozen victims have been traced. Eight girls have now filed a report against the man, but the police and the Public Prosecution Service expect this number to rise sharply.
The Public Prosecution Service therefore cannot yet say how much time will be needed for the total investigation. Only then will it become clear exactly what the charges against the suspect will be and how many victims will ultimately be included in this case.
Suspect is in custody
De W. made contact with the victims online and started a conversation, in which he offered money for sending a (nude) photo. He used false names, including Bryan.snapx, Bryansnelgeld, and other variants using the Bryan alias. The police asks victims who recognize themselves in the username and working method of the suspect to contact them.
The victims who have reported are mostly minors and live throughout the country. The investigation started with a report from a girl from North Holland who was 15 when she was blackmailed. The case has not yet been dealt with substantively. The next pro forma hearing is scheduled for April 11.
The suspect was arrested on October 11 and is still in custody. He will also remain incarcerated for the next three months.
Yesterday, the Public Prosecution Service reported that De W. was already known to the police as a 15-year-old. After he wanted to incite a girl to commit sexual abuse online, the police conducted a so-called ‘stop talk’ with him in 2014, but that had no effect: he failed to keep promises to remove images.
The police can have such a conversation with someone who forwards unwanted nude images or puts them online. These are often ex-boyfriends or acquaintances from school. A condition for such a conversation is that the sender is approximately the same (teenager) age as the victim and that there is no question of a serious criminal offense, such as extortion. Many victims would rather seek this solution than report the crime.
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