The Jakarta Post
A 15-year-old junior high school student in Tasikmalaya, West Java, has reportedly fallen victim to "sextortion" following months of an online romance with a man she never met offline.
The 23-year-old man, identified as E, allegedly threatened the victim to distribute intimate videos of her that he had recorded without her knowledge if she did not give him money, according to the Tasikmalaya Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAID).
The teen said that she had transferred Rp 350,000 (US$23) to E, but that he still sent the video to her classmates anyway.
"We have obtained photos of E and his address for submitting to the police," KPAID Tasikmalaya head Ato Rianto said on Thursday.
The KPAID is accompanying the victim in reporting the incident to police.
Ato explained that the student and E met about 11 months ago on Facebook and shortly thereafter, they decided to start a romantic relationship, although they had not met in person.
About two months into the relationship, E asked the girl to have phone sex with him by video call, and she agreed. They had phone sex several times, and E reportedly recorded each call without the girl's knowledge.
The couple ended their relationship in February after a disagreement, and E subsequently started blackmailing the girl through online correspondence, kompas.com reported.
The Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) had earlier stated that children were prone to online sex crimes, citing 679 of such incidents it had recorded in 2018, up from 608 cases in 2017.
“The ever-developing information technology makes it easier for children to access the internet nowadays. If children are not monitored [closely], they can easily be exposed to negative content like pornography,” KPAI pornography and cybercrimes commissioner Margaret Aliyatul Maimunah stated at a press conference recently.
As a result, children could become victims of sexual abuse and other forms of online abuse. Worse, they could also become perpetrators of such crimes themselves, said Margaret.
The KPAI recorded at least 250 cases of online sex crimes and pornography targeting children in 2018.
It also recorded a growing number of underage sex offenders – below the age of 17 – in cyberspace, from 94 offenders in 2016, to 102 in 2017 and then to 96 in 2018. The data indicated a rapid increase in such offenders from just 16 cases in 2013.
Margaret thus urged parents to monitor their children’s internet use regularly to protect them from online sex crimes, including sextortion. (vny)