A 24-year-old Massachusetts man is allegedly accused of posing as pop star Justin Bieber online to extort a child for nude photos.
Bryan Asrary convinced a 9-year-old girl to “send naked photos and videos of herself,” according to official reports.
“Investigators established that the suspect had no actual connection to singer/songwriter Justin Bieber, but simply fabricated the relationship to influence his young victims,” said the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The department also thinks Asrary may have targeted other young fans.
According to official reports, the girl told the authorities that she was viewing the Instagram page of superstar Justin Bieber when she received a direct message from another Instagram user.
That alleged user then told the girl “that he knew Bieber and offered to arrange a text meeting with the victim.”
“Detectives from the LASD Human Trafficking Bureau – SAFE Team began investigating a report of an 11 year old female being extorted for sexually explicit images over the internet. The victim disclosed to detectives that two years prior, when she was just 9 years old, she was viewing the Instagram page of superstar Justin Bieber, when she received a direct message from another Instagram user. That user (the suspect) stated that he knew Bieber and offered to arrange a text meeting with the victim,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a press release.
Asrary then escalated to impersonating Bieber, forcing the girl to send nude photos of herself and threatened to hurt her if she refused. The girl sent nude selfies and video.
According to the Sheriff’s Department, “The victim then began communicating on KIK with someone she believed was actually Justin Bieber. A short time later, the suspect, who represented himself to be Bieber, began demanding nude photos of the victim and threatened harm if she didn’t cooperate. The victim cooperated and sent nude selfies and video as the suspect had demanded. After sending the pictures, the victim deleted the texts between her and the suspect and kept the incident a secret.”
Law enforcement tracked down Asrary through search warrants of social media sites.
“Based on the information provided, Sheriff’s Detectives served several search warrants for information from the relevant social media sites and were able to identify the suspect as 24-year-old Bryan Asrary of Revere, Massachusetts,” the Sheriff’s Department said. “The evidence revealed that the sextortion had been committed from across the nation.”
Asrary is facing multiple charges in California to include, extortion, manufacturing child pornography, and communicating with a minor with the intent to commit a sex act. He is also facing a sentence of several years in prison