A serial British pedophile has admitted almost 100 offenses on children as young as four — having posed as a teenage girl on Facebook to target more than 5,000 youngsters around the world.
David Wilson, 36, pleaded guilty Monday to 96 counts of child sexual abuse on 51 victims aged four to 14 — so many that it took half an hour for the charges to be read to him in Ipswich Crown Court.
The court heard that the Norfolk laborer posed as multiple teenage girls on Facebook to trick youngsters into sending sexually explicit photos — with victims not just in the UK but also in Australia and the US.
Once he had built up their trust, he blackmailed them into sending him more extreme footage of themselves – and in some cases of them abusing younger siblings or friends, the court was told.
The charges included intentionally causing boys to engage in sexual activity, blackmail and intentionally facilitating the sexual exploitation of children.
Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said there was evidence that as many as 500 victims had sent him images, and that he had contacted 5,000 children worldwide.
“David Wilson is a prolific offender who has caused heartbreaking suffering to some of the boys and their families in this case,” the agency’s head of child sex abuse operations, Tony Cook, said in a statement.
“He knew the anguish victims were suffering but ignored any pleas from them to stop until he got what he wanted from them,” he said.
The pedophile was busted thanks to information shared by Facebook — something the NCA fears will end if it implements planned end-to-end encryption on its messenger service.
“Content obtained from Facebook Messenger conversations was … crucial throughout the operation,” Rob Jones of the law enforcement agency said.
“Had that content been end-to-end encrypted, there is a real risk that justice would not have been served and Wilson would still be abusing victims today,” he said, calling it a “chilling” thought.
Wilson will be sentenced next January.
*story by The New York Post