Insta and Facebook troll admits child sex offences

Author
Kelly Makiha, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 3 Aug 2021, 9:55AM
Alexander William Power when he appeared in court in 2013 for sentencing on previous child abuse charges. (Photo / File)
Alexander William Power when he appeared in court in 2013 for sentencing on previous child abuse charges. (Photo / File)

Insta and Facebook troll admits child sex offences

Author
Kelly Makiha, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 3 Aug 2021, 9:55AM

Warning: Distressing content

A repeat sex offender has admitted "trolling" Instagram and Facebook to offer young girls money for sex.

Alexander William Power, 28, has also admitted a raft of charges relating to possessing and distributing objectionable child pornography - including images showing the rape and torture of babies, infants and young children.

Power was convicted in 2013 of 21 charges relating to sexual grooming and sexual connection with young girls mainly around the Tauranga and Coromandel areas.

Alexander William Power when he appeared in court in 2013 for sentencing on previous child abuse charges. (Photo / File)

He was jailed for two years and 11 months and was released in 2017, later moving to Turangi.

He's now admitted a raft of new charges relating to offending in 2019 and 2020, including three counts of possessing objectionable material, three counts of distributing an objectionable publication, one count of indecent communication with a young person under 16, one count of dealing in people under the age of 18 for sexual exploitation, and four counts of failing to comply with reporting obligations under the Child Sex Offender Register.

Details of his offending can now be revealed after the police's summary of facts was released to NZME.

On June 8, 2020, authorities received a report from Netsafe about a 14-year-old girl who was the first victim of his latest offending.

She had been communicating with a woman's profile on Instagram, but it was Power who was posing as the fictitious woman. Under the fictitious account, Power asked the teen to flirt with a "boy", which she agreed to do.

The teen then received text messages from a person, who was in fact Power.

The text conversation included messages asking if the teen liked older guys. The teen said she was in love with someone else and Power asked the teen how she felt about keeping "feelings out of it babe" and just flirting "and I'll pay you for fun".

Power then texted that he'd pay the teen $200 if they met up.

A news clipping relating to Alexander William Power's previous appearance in court in 2013 for sentencing on child abuse charges.

He then asked her if she was a virgin and when she replied yes, he asked her how far she had been. When she said everything apart from "that" he said, "Aww yeah, that's all good, we can work with that x".

The following day, the text messages were reported to Netsafe by the teen's father.

On June 8, Power sent a message to 25 different cell phone numbers which said:

"Hey are you around friday night for some fun 200 is yours baby".

In July 2020, Facebook sent a report about chats on messenger between an account belonging to Power, and a teen aged 15.

In the chats, Power discussed meeting to exchange sexual activity. The teen also sent Power videos of an explicit nature in exchange for money.

Power disclosed in the chats he sent $30 five times but then he stopped because the teen didn't meet him when he requested.

"You should be straight up ... and tell me your using me or your shy then I'll transfer the money," Power said in a message to the teen.

He then asked: "Do you have any mates that would be down to f*** for money any age babe .... Any age from 12 to 30 do you know anyone xx".

The summary said Power's offending relating to child pornography related to a significant New Zealand online child Sexual Exploitation Material inquiry managed by the Department of Internal Affairs in connection with the Digital Exploitation Team, New Zealand Customs Service and New Zealand Police.

The Department of Internal Affairs received a report in October 2019 which identified a URL associated with the provider Mega.nz that was operated by Power.

The contents of the URL returned several folders containing child abuse content, including a series that had footage of violent and sexual abuse of very young children including infants and babies.

A similar URL was also being investigated by the Digital Exploitation Team and in May 2020 a zip file for the Mega.nz account belonging to Power found 686 files that included 178 images and 508 videos.

These showed indecent assaults, sexual violation by rape, sexual violation by unlawful connection and torture of many babies, infants and young children.

Power's house in Turangi was searched in September 2020 and his electronic devices were seized. On his computer, there were 230 images and 16 videos showing child abuse and exploitation.

Further investigation found two Mega links containing child abuse and exploitation material were sent by Power via a messenger service.

The first was sent on September 2, 2019 and the second on November 16, 2019.

Power admitted using the Mega.nz account to view the content but denied viewing content of babies and infants. He also admitted to sending the links to others.

When Power was released from prison in March 2017, he was taken through the obligations of reporting under the Child Protection (Child Sex Offender Government Agency Registration) Act 2016.

He signed the conditions which said he had to make annual reports, had to notify authorities if he changed his phone numbers and any online accounts including service providers, gaming and online storage accounts.

When interviewed by police, Power said he couldn't recall specifically communicating with the teens but admitted the social media profiles belonged to him.

In general, the summary said he admitted "trolling" social media platforms to communicate with young people aged 13 and over.

He admitted offering them money but said he didn't meet up with them in person.

In regard to breaching his reporting obligations, he said he thought he had disclosed all he was required to do but admitted there were several email addresses that were not disclosed.

Power has been remanded in custody for sentencing on November 5.

SEXUAL HARM - DO YOU NEED HELP?

If it's an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
If you've ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone contact the Safe to Talk confidential crisis helpline on:
• Text 4334 and they will respond
• Email [email protected]
• Visit https://safetotalk.nz/contact-us/ for an online chat
Alternatively contact your local police station - click here for a list.
If you have been abused, remember it's not your fault.