Media executive jailed in latest 'sexting' case
A 57-year-old man who passed himself off as a 12-year-old girl in online chatrooms in order to obtain naked photos of children was sentenced to four and a half years in prison by a Zurich district court on Wednesday.
The man, an executive at a media company, managed to get dozens of victims aged between 12 and 15 to send him nude photos of themselves after pretending to be a young girl himself, reports news agency SDA.
The Zurich court found the man guilty of multiple sexual offences against children and rejected an appeal by his defence team for a lighter sentence.
The case came to light in autumn 2012 when the man left a USB stick lying about on the terrace of his workplace which was found to contain thousands of naked photographs of adolescents.
The subsequent investigation revealed that he chatted online to victims during work time.
Along with a prison sentence, the man was ordered to undergo therapy after a psychiatric examination found him to be at high risk of reoffending.
This is the latest conviction in Switzerland in a case of so-called “sexting”, when victims are coerced into sending naked or provocative images of themselves over the internet or via smartphones.
The first major conviction in a “sexting” case came in May this year when a 22-year-old man was jailed for blackmailing three adolescents into sending him naked photos of themselves.
Last October, the youth advisory group Pro Juvente launched a provocative public awareness campaign warning young people of the dangers of sending erotic or pornographic "selfies" on the internet with smartphones.
The group warned that such activity poses a growing danger of cyber-bullying – defamation, harassment and coercion of individuals.
The campaign involved billboard posters showing nude teenagers with a message telling adolescents where they can find more information and get help.