A 32-year-old man in the UK has been sentenced to prison for his role in a virtual rape of a child.
Leighton apparently catfished the 14-year-old boy on Facebook and got him to send nude photos by posing as a girl. He then threatened to release the photos unless the boy performed sexual abuse on other children, including his 1-year-old niece and 13-year-old sister.
His defense lawyer claimed that Leighton's crimes were "not for sexual gratification" but rather that he craved a "feeling of power" over his victims.
Leighton was charged (and pled guilty to) 14 sexual offenses, including rape, sexual assault, grooming and distributing indecent photographs.
He was caught when British police flagged his phone as part of a national database of indecent imagery. Authorities seized his phone and found illegal material.
According to the BBC, the 14-year-old boy in Florida has also been charged with sexual abuse. The FBI is investigating other victims who may have been targeted by Leighton using the same techniques.
[Photo: Northumbria Police]
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