Agents of the National Police have arrested a 23-year-old young man in Barcelona for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old minor, with whom he contacted through a video game.
The arrested man gained the trust of the victim to obtain an exchange of images of a sexual nature and came to travel from Barcelona to Almería to have a sexual encounter with him.
When the minor reported the facts, the attacker emotionally blackmailed him and threatened him with the aim of having the complaint reconsidered.
In the detainee’s home search, the agents located numerous pedophile material on his computer -pending analysis-, so the appearance of new victims is not ruled out.
The investigation began in mid-February thanks to the complaint filed by the minor in Almería. In it, he stated that a 23-year-old man, a resident in the province of Barcelona, had contacted him through a video game.
In addition, the complaint included how the alleged attacker had gradually gained his trust, which caused the conversations to divert to a more intimate level. He even acknowledges that they came to exchange images of a sexual nature through an instant messaging application and other social networks. On the other hand, the analysis of the minor’s mobile phone made it possible to attach numerous graphic pieces of evidence that corroborated his testimony.
After gaining the victim’s trust and giving her various gifts, the investigator asked her to have sexual relations regardless of her minority, of which he was aware. Finally, there was a physical encounter between the two in a hotel in Almería, for which the perpetrator traveled more than 800 kilometers.
Emotional blackmail and threats
After learning that the minor had reported the facts, the arrested person began to emotionally blackmail him through his closest circle with the aim of reconsidering the complaint.
He also threatened to report him for having taken advantage of a person with a disability (implying that he had some kind of disability). He also got hold of the contacts of the victim’s mother and brother, getting in touch with them for the same purpose.
It was at the beginning of March when the agents, with the support of the Central Cybercrime Unit of the National Police, searched the residence of the person being investigated, in which they located numerous digital devices with information relevant to the investigation.
On the other hand, they collected new evidence, both of facts already denounced and of a new crime of possession of child pornography, upon finding numerous pedophile material on his computer.
As a result of this search, the agents seized seven hard drives, a mobile phone, a laptop, and a SIM card, the content of which is waiting to be analyzed when the dumping and cloning of the information are authorized by the judicial authority.
It is not ruled out that the person investigated may have been the author of other crimes of a similar nature that have not been reported up to now.
The National Police has indicated that ‘grooming’ occurs when an adult pretends to be a minor on the internet to gradually gain the trust of a child or adolescent who ends up harassing or blackmailing them for sexual purposes.
For this reason, it has recalled the importance of making minors aware of the risks and dangers existing on the Internet, as well as how to prevent them and the need to report them in the event of being a victim of a crime of this type.
Some of the advice from the National Police is to “generate a relationship of trust so that, in the event of finding yourself in a problematic or compromised situation, tell what is happening and not shut up out of fear or shame”, as well as “do not reveal information neither private nor personal. It also recommends “to be wary of strangers who contact you over the internet”, “do not share intimate images and videos” and, in the event of a bullying situation, “never give in to blackmail and ask for help from a trusted adult”. . It also advises “reporting the facts at a police station.”