A global sting operation involving a virtual ten-year-old girl named Sweetie has led to the conviction of a registered sex offender in Australia, marking what is believed to be the first conviction since the avatar was created last year by a Dutch rights group.Scott Robert Hansen, 37, pleaded guilty to three counts in a Brisbane court this week, admitting to possessing images of child sexual abuse and sending lewd pictures of himself to Sweetie.NEWARK — Tim Ryan climbed from his FBI-issued van and started toward the beige-brick building that holds roomfuls of forensic evidence from across the state: blood samples, human skeletal fragments, markings from tools used in crimes, ballistics results.He swiped his security card and passed through several doors.Under no circumstances are children under the age of 13 allowed in the chat rooms. You also agree, that if you do for any reason attempt to take legal action against or its affiliates, to pay any lawyer fees and other costs to us regardless of outcome.Use of the chat room signifies that you are in total agreement to the terms contained here within.
This scene — and others that follow — are taken from a long series of interviews with Ryan and other FBI agents.It is hard to imagine that not long ago these children, aged 11 to 14, worked as prostitutes, used by men three and four times their age. She cried a lot." The words pour out louder and faster. Drained by her anger, Lek throws herself on the floor.As soon as Lek sees her photograph, the quiet 12-year-old girl is transformed. She has never told her life story, but now she belts it out. "This girl was 10 and she was sold to a woman called Auntie. Auntie beat her and made her work." Lek grabs a stick and begins striking the air with every new point. She worked every day, there were many men, Thai men, foreign men. Next to her, Sister Michele, a young Catholic nun from India, bends down to cradle the girl. In the four years she has worked with prostituted children, moments when the children let out their pain are very rare.She says they bury their feelings and hide their experiences even when they visit the doctor, sore with venereal diseases.Some girls so effectively block out the past that they forget their home address or even their parents' names.