'Catfisher' tricked boys into online ‘sextortion’ plot
An online "catfisher'' boasted to a friend of one of his victims "police don't have the tools or power to catch people like me", before he was arrested and charged with 54 offences relating to blackmailing boys aged between eight and 15 in a child abuse "sextortion'' plot.
Kurtis Whaley, a 24-year-old Specsavers employee of Manly Vale, will be sentenced next week for the offences which stretched from June 2014 until his arrest in February last year. He now claims his criminal behaviour "makes me feel sick".
Posing as a pretty 16-year-old girl, Whaley saved ''temporary'' Snapchat and Instagram photos and secretly recorded Skype and Omegle live streams of naked boys, collecting 700 videos and images of 49 victims aged between eight and 15.
Many of Whaley's 49 child ''sextortion'' victims cried and pleaded for him to leave them alone, but his pursuit of them was "merciless", prosecutors say.
Using the pseudonym ''Beth'' under multiple fake social media accounts, Whaley tricked the boys into swapping "nudes'' which he later used as leverage against them, Crown prosecutor Sophie Callan said.
Whaley soon demanded they perform degrading acts beyond their sexual maturity and if they refused he threatened to share explicit footage with their friends and family - once sending an intimate image to a victim's mother and nine-year-old sister, court documents show.
"You're obviously not that concerned about becoming a sex offender or going to jail for, like, five years," the friend of one 13-year-old victim told Whaley on Instagram after receiving an explicit photo.
"Mate I've been doing this long enough haha. What can the police do? Honestly," Whaley replied.
The UK-born fiend preyed upon naive boys on the cusp of puberty and ruthlessly ordered them to share more and more perverted content "or I start sharing (devil emoji)".
When one distressed child asked him, "why are you doing this?", Whaley texted back: "Because I can."
He pleaded guilty in January.
Originally published as Man, 24, tricked boys into online 'sextortion' plot for years