A 36-year-old Berlin man assumed the fictitious identity of a 13-year-old girl and preyed on children through social networks and messaging applications for five years until German authorities arrested him in 2017. Judge Regina Alex, in late November, sentenced the sexual predator to four years in prison.
The defendant, an event manager named Alexander G., never physically touched a child. Instead, he sought and exploited girls between the ages of 11 – 13 through the internet. He allegedly looked for especially exploitable girls to advise through the internet. He started with the expected: naked pictures and videos. He sent ever more explicit messages about sexual intercourse and then graduated to so-called “child pornography.” Some of his victims needed psychological care. At least one attempted suicide.
He began offering these girls to other “hands-on” pedophiles on the darknet. Even though he had no access to some of them, he wanted to live the child sex trafficking “fantasy in his head,” he told the court. One of the girls he had offered for sale on darknet forums turned to self-harm—something Alexander said was OK. In his own words: “Scars do not matter as long as they are not in the genital area.”
Investigators pulled 1,407 conversations with children from one of the many smartphones he used to contact children. Chat logs revealed that one of his victims had attempted to take her own life. One had a mental breakdown and required observation in the psychiatric ward of a medical center. Over 20 victims had been notably impacted.
He began this routine in 2012, chat history on WhatsApp and darknet forum posts revealed. And the behavior continued until his arrest in 2017. Alexander started offering the girls on darknet child abuse forums in mid-2016. Investigators started looking into his activity and watched carefully as he explained how he had manipulated and “prepared” the girls for sexual intercourse with adults.
The police eventually “received a tip” (aka parallel discovery) that put them in contact with the abuser. On a darknet forum, the police investigators conversed with Alexander. They gathered intel and worked on gathered evidence against him. He opened up about his activities and finally offered one of the girls to an undercover investigator. Alexander then convinced the girl to meet the “client” at a hotel in Berlin.
German authorities intercepted her as she arrived at the hotel. With electronic evidence from the girl’s device, along with any other evidence they had obtained, the police knew they could arrest and convict Alexander.
Months later, Judge Regina Alex convicted the 36-year-old of the sexual abuse of children, attempted human trafficking, attempted forced prostitution, and possession of child pornography. Although Alexander never touched a child himself, “even the thoughts and ideas of the children are protected,” the judge told him. She sentenced him to four years in prison.