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Man offered fake influencer job to obtain nude photos from 34 girls, tried to blackmail a 13-year-old for sex

Man offered fake influencer job to obtain nude photos from 34 girls, tried to blackmail a 13-year-old for sex

File photo of the State Courts in Singapore. (Photo: CNA/Calvin Oh)

SINGAPORE: A man pretended to be a woman who was recruiting social media influencers in order to obtain nude photos from 34 girls.

After receiving photos from a 13-year-old victim, he tried to blackmail her into having sex with him by threatening to post her nude photos online. The girl told her mother and made a police report.

Adrian Tan Jun Jie, 25, was sentenced to 42 months' jail on Thursday (Apr 7). He pleaded guilty to 11 charges, with another 26 charges considered for sentencing.

His victims cannot be named as they are protected by gag order.

HIS METHOD

The court heard that Tan started browsing Instagram to look for attractive women in October 2017.

His method involved getting a victim's email address from her Instagram profile and emailing her a job offer while posing as "Audrey", a fake female persona he created.

The influencer job purportedly paid S$25 to S$50 a day and involved the girls taking photos in clothes that would be mailed to them.

If anyone expressed interest, Tan would move the conversation to the Line app and continue posing as "Audrey" to obtain selfies from the girl.

He would then ask for more revealing photos of the victims, such as in her underwear, to assess her suitability for the job.

Tan made up different excuses for the revealing photos, telling one victim he had an app that could extract body measurements from pictures. He also told victims he needed nude photos to assess how confident they were, and that there was stiff competition for the job.

When victims became uncomfortable with the requests and stopped contacting "Audrey", Tan would try to persuade them by telling them they were near the final stage of the competition.

Tan coached the girls on how to take photos, directing one 12-year-old victim on how to take clearer nude photos of herself. He also asked a 16-year-old victim to take a video of herself "brushing her teeth in the toilet in a seductive manner".

When the 16-year-old victim grew suspicious and stopped contacting "Audrey", Tan posed as the husband of "Audrey" and told the victim that his wife was stressed about losing her job as the victim had stopped contacting her.

He added that "Audrey" was pregnant and the stress may affect her pregnancy. The victim then started messaging "Audrey" again as she did not want "Audrey" to lose her job. 

Through this deception, in 2018, Tan obtained about 200 photos from 10 of his victims showing them nude or in their underwear.

TRIED TO BLACKMAIL FOR SEX

In May 2018, Tan took his ruse further after receiving photographs from a 13-year-old victim who exposed her breasts and underwear.

He gave the victim his actual phone number, claiming that this belonged to a male assistant "JJ". This was another fake persona taken on by Tan.

While posing as "Audrey", Tan told the victim that "JJ" would perform sexual acts on her and instructed the victim to contact him. The victim did as she was told.

"JJ" started to demand that the victim meet him for sex.

He also demanded that the victim secretly take a video of one of her female classmates changing in the toilet, but the victim declined to do so.

After the victim refused the requests, Tan threatened to send her nude photos to her school and circulate them online. Out of fear, the victim then agreed to have sex with "JJ".

When the victim told her mother about these threats, she was brought to make a police report.

Tan knew he was wrong to pressure the victim for nude photos and sex, but did so despite knowing she was underage because "he could not resist the temptation and wanted to feel the pleasure", said the prosecution.

"VEIL OF ANONYMITY"

Deputy Public Prosecutor Hidayat Amir sought a jail term of 40 to 49 months, citing Tan's significant level of premeditation through his "complex scheme" and strong public interest in deterring predatory conduct online.

"The accused hid behind the veil of anonymity through the Internet and pretended to be a female employer ... It is clear that the accused's offences could not have been carried out with the Internet," said the prosecutor.

The defence lawyer asked for between 27 and 31 months' jail, saying that Tan was remorseful, had made an early plea of guilty and cooperated with investigations.

In sentencing, the judge highlighted the high number of victims involved, Tan's elaborate scheme and his abuse of the victims' trust, as he had befriended them and won their confidence through his ruse.

Source: CNA/dv(ta)

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