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Pedophile Poses as Justin Bieber + One Direction’s Niall Horan Online to Lure in Victims

Justin Bieber Niall Horan
Jason Merritt / Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images

Wow, it doesn’t get much creepier than this. A British man who pretended to be Justin Bieber and One Direction‘s Niall Horan in order to persuade teenage girls to pose nude on camera for him has been sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in prison.

The Daily Mail reports that Simon Hale, 37, used video chat applications like Skype to pose as the teen superstars and convince the girls to chat naked or topless. In some cases, according to testimony, he blackmailed the girls into performing sex acts on younger siblings. Police found 180 homemade videos on his computer.

The girls ranged in age from 13 to 15 and were from England, Australia and Denmark. Bieber and Horan were reportedly informed of the details of the case and were “horrified and appalled” that someone would use their names in this manner.

The judge scolded Hale, “By pretending to be someone you knew girls would idolize, you inveigled your way into their confidence and in several cases spawned an infatuation with you.” The judge’s indefinite sentence for Hale carries a 10-year minimum but leaves open the possibility of a longer jail term.

What’s worse is that Hale is a previous offender. In 2005 he was given five years in prison for meeting an underage girl he had corresponded with online. Clearly, that sentence didn’t have the intended effect.

The sad case is just another reminder to be careful who you’re chatting with online. And if it seems hard to believe that stars like Bieber and Horan would be going onto chat applications to talk with strangers in such a seedy way, you’re probably right.

Next: Who Would you Rather Follow on Twitter - Niall Horan or Justin Bieber?

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