An English soccer coach purportedly used Instagram to trick his male students into sending nude photos of themselves.
The Daily Mail reports that Matthew Anthony, 32, created two separate accounts on the social media app to communicate to the young sports enthusiasts he looked over as a trainer, before goading them into exchanging images with someone whom they believed to be female.
During a police raid of Anthony’s Stafford, Staffordshire, residence, law enforcement reportedly found hundreds of other images that captured children, some of them as young as six-months old, performing sexual acts on one another, located on a home computer and other electronic devices that were said to belong to the accused.
Following his arrest, Anthony admitted to taking most of the images that were found, and to having young boys in his care participate in “non-penetrative sexual activity” for his pleasure.
Prior to his sentencing at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court in England, prosecutor Neil Ahuja broke down how the soccer coach was able to influence his victims into sating his pedophilia on Instagram.
“The defendant set up and used two fake female profile on Instagram for the youngsters to send naked images of themselves to him,” Mr. Ahuja explained.
“He would ask some of them if they had seen their friends naked. Naked images of these boys were found on his device.”
Through his attorney, jurors would go on to hear that Anthony, an admitted homosexual, had been dealing with troubles related to his sexual orientation since he was 15 years old.
Soccer Coach Made Fake Girls’ Instagram Accounts To Get Young Boys’ Nudes: A perverted… https://t.co/BexQ3cJAnm
— ω๏๏∂y (@CurrentSocials) February 18, 2017
“He has never developed a proper relationship with any other male,” Hamish Noble remarked.
‘He led a private life accessing pornography and had been for five or six years which progressed to more severe offences such as using the internet to induce children to send images to him.”
Noble went on to say his client accepted full responsibility for his actions, referring to the soccer coach’s Instagram scheme a loss of “good character.”
“He knows the impact of what he’s done,” Mr. Noble stated, “[and] he expresses his real remorse for what he did.”
Unfortunately for Anthony, none of that remorse could change the mindset of trial judge Paul Glenn, who sentenced the soccer trainer to two-and-a-half years in jail, and a full-time ban from working with children again. Moreover, Anthony also received a 10-year sexual harm prevention order and will have his name added to the sexual offenders’ registry in England.
Before handing down the sentence, Judge Glenn couldn’t help but remark on the negative impact the soccer coach had on his young Instagram targets.
“You targeted your victims and were aware of how old they were,” the court officiant started.
“You knew most, if not all of them thorough football coaching. There is a breach of trust to the boys and their parents. It is plain a number were hugely embarrassed about sending you naked photos. Their images were stored. The victims refer to feeling stupid, distraught and disgusted.”
“You goaded them into sending you more material by calling them cowards when they wouldn’t,” Glenn continued, “[and] it has had a profound impact on the victims and their parents.”
Back in January of this year, another adult male was also charged with lying about his identity on Instagram as a ruse to obtain nude imagery of a then 9-year-old Justin Bieber fan, as TMZ notes.
— Global Grind (@GlobalGrind) January 17, 2017
California resident Bryan Asgary reputedly first reached out to the underage follower of the “Baby” singer in 2014 to request that she send naked pictures of herself to Justin who, in reality, was Asgary. When the girl refused, Asgary allegedly promised to hurt her and her family, which in turn led to the child relenting to his demand.
Asgary was finally busted in 2016 when he contacted the girl once more and threatened to publish the images online if she didn’t send him more pictures of herself. After informing of her mother of the threat, law enforcement was called in and the accused was apprehended.
No word on how police ultimately uncovered the English soccer coach’s Instagram scam.
[Featured Image by Stoke-On-Trent Crown Court]