(CNN) — An Australian man is believed to be the first convicted as the result of an online sex sting centered around a virtual girl.
“My name is Sweetie. I’m 10-years-old, I live in the Philippines,” the computer generated girl says. “Every day, I have to sit in front of the webcam and talk to men. As soon as I go online, they come to me. Ten. Hundred. Every hour. So many.”
Men from all over the world – three, four, five times her age – asked Sweetie to perform sexual acts in front of her webcam. Thousands of men solicit her and so far, they have gone unpunished, until now.
“The men ask me to take off my clothes. They undress,” Sweetie says.
Scott Robert Hansen, of Australia, is the first to be convicted of soliciting sex from Sweeting. Hansen was sentenced to two years in prison by court in Brisbane for charges related to child sex abuse. The man never realized as he was trying to exploit Sweetie that she was actually the one who would fool him.
“What they don’t know – I’m not real. I’m a computer model, made piece-by-piece to track down these men who do this,” the virtual avatar says.
Sweetie is the digital creation of Dutch NGO Terre Des Hommes. They use her avatar to pose in Internet chat rooms and bait men who go online to prey on young children.
In 10 weeks, the charity says 1,000 men offered her money for explicit acts. The charity’s director says the high number highlights the demand.
“We were actually quite taken aback by the findings of our Sweetie project, because you’ll forget about the stereotype… most of these men that we encountered on the internet were so-called, were ordinary men… people with wives, people with families with children, with jobs, with cars, with houses with mortgages, with debts, you know ordinary men,” Hans Guyt of Terre Des Hommes said.
The charity was launched as a campaign to end so-called “web cam tourism” – where men go online to pay children from developing countries to perform sex acts.
Logs of Scott Richard Hansen’s conversation with Sweetie show the man asked “Hi u really 9yo,” and “I like Asian chicks, are you…for action?”
“According to the judge in Brisbane it doesn’t actually matter whether it is real girl or a real child or a virtual child, a computer model,” Guyt said.
“What counts is that the man in question considered and thought he was dealing with a child from the Philippines, because it opens the doors to other countries and to other jurisdictions to try and use this particular sentence.”
“In most countries there is a huge legal problem because in many countries – it’s not even allowed. Police doesn’t even have a mandate to carry out say undercover or sting operations. We have to allow the police to carry out further investigation, to be much more active and have an active presence on the Internet. You have to find another way to deal with this problem in an effective and efficient manner,” Guyt said.
In 10 weeks, the charity says some 200,000 men have contacted Sweetie from 71 countries.