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United Kingdom Man Jailed for Sex Crimes across 3 Countries.

Paul Leighton

In September of 2016, Bedford County Sheriff’s Office detectives received a Cyber Tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that involved a minor victim in imminent danger and an adult offender in their jurisdiction. After a thorough investigation, the offender was arrested and charged with Statutory Rape and Incest.
Both the victim and the offender in the Bedford County case were two of several victims of online sextortion.
The offender, Paul Leighton, from the United Kingdom, posed as a child and had up to 40 fake social media accounts. He used those accounts to befriend teens in the U.S., Canada, and Australia and would persuade the teens to send nude or sexual images of themselves. London officials believe he used those images to blackmail the children into becoming abusers. Leighton threatened to send the images to the children’s family, friends, and classmates. Law enforcement says the sexual acts were recorded and forwarded to Leighton, who would later share the videos to other children in order to instruct them with what type of sexual acts to commit on new victims. Authorities say there may be as many as 100 victims worldwide.
Paul Leighton pleaded guilty to rape, sexual assaults on a child under 13, causing or inciting grooming, making and distributing indecent photographs, blackmail, assault on a child under 13, and possession of a class B drug. Authorities in London sentenced him to 22 years in prison.