CRIME
03/09/2017 05:23 pm ET

Man Who Allegedly Impersonated Justin Bieber Charged With More Than 900 Sex Crimes

The 42-year-old faces charges including rape and indecent treatment of children.

A 42-year-old Australian man is facing more than 900 charges for allegedly impersonating Canadian pop star Justin Bieber to solicit children online.

Authorities in Queensland said Thursday that the man started using Facebook and Skype to lure the children back in 2007. He was arrested in November but was hit with 931 new charges this week.

Multiple outlets, including The Associated Press, have identified the man as Gordon Douglas Chalmers, a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane.

The charges include rape, indecent treatment of children and making child exploitation material.

“The breadth of offenses committed in this instance are frankly horrendous,” Queensland Detective Inspector Jon Rouse said in a statement.

Police did not release the number of alleged victims and their nationalities.

During a court appearance in November, prosecutors accused Chalmers of having around 6,000 contacts on Skype, “the majority” of whom were children, the Brisbane Times reported.

The case underscores the need to educate young people about online dangers, Queensland police said. 

“The fact that so many children could believe that they were communicating with this particular celebrity highlights the need for a serious rethink about the way that we as a society educate our children about online safety,” Rouse said.

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