'Sweetie' campaign leads to sex crime conviction

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The "Sweetie" avatar
The "Sweetie" avatar

An Australian sex offender was caught with the help of an avatar created by a Dutch ad agency and charity

A man in Australia has become what is believed to be the first person convicted of sex crimes as a result of the international "Sweetie" campaign.

The man was caught sending indecent pictures of himself to what he believed was a 10-year-old-girl in the Philippines called Sweetie. In fact, the girl was an avatar created by the Dutch advertising agency Lemz and the charity Terre Des Hommes Netherlands.

The charity and the agency captured details of 1,000 men from across the world who requested that Sweetie performed sex acts in front of a webcam for cash. Their details were passed on to the international police agency Interpol.

The convicted man, Scott Robert Hansen, is already a registered sex offender. He pleaded guilty to three charges in Brisbane District Court.

He admitted sending obscene pictures of himself to Sweetie, having images of child pornography on his computer and failing to comply with a sex offenders’ order, according to BBC News.

Although he was sentenced to two years in prison, he is not expected to serve his sentence because he has already spent eight months in jail. He will be subject to a 12-month correction order and a sex-offender treatment program.

The judge said that even though Sweetie was fake, the fact that Hansen believed she was a nine-year-old girl, as shown by the chat logs, was strong enough to convict him.

The Sweetie campaign has received a black Pencil award at D&AD and a gold Cyber Lion at Cannes.

This article first appeared on campaign.co.uk.

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