One Direction imposter captured
A 45-year-old man in Connecticut is accused of posing as a member of the popular boy band One Direction to entice young girls into performing sex acts online.
The Waterbury Republican-American reports John Eastman appeared in court Thursday on charges including first-degree possession of child pornography, employing a minor in an obscene performance and using a computer to entice a minor.
According to an arrest warrant, Eastman used the screen name Harry.Styles888 on Skype and had pictures of the One Direction singer on his computer, which were used to convince children he was the 19-year-old Styles.
“My hope is that the girl will show me herself on camera and then pose in a sexual manner, or perform some kind of sex act for me to see,” Eastman told detectives, according to his arrest warrant.
Eastman would sometimes offer concert tickets in exchange for children posing naked or performing sex acts online, authorities said.
Police said they began investigating Eastman after being contacted by a Vermont state trooper, who had been looking into a complaint from a family about a conversation between three girls and a Skype-user posing as Styles.
Eastman’s computer contained more than 500 images of child pornography, including some webcam images of children believed to be as young as 5, according to the arrest warrant. Police said a search of Eastman’s computer also turned up video footage of several singers, including Styles and Justin Bieber.
Eastman was interviewed by police in late 2012 and willingly gave them his computer, according to his arrest warrant.
He later fled to Virginia, where he was arrested and returned to Connecticut, police said.
He was being held in jail in lieu of $500,000 bond and is due back in court next Thursday. It was unclear if he had an attorney.
Eastman has a criminal history that includes a conviction for fourth-degree sexual assault. He spent 10 years on the state’s sex offender registry before being taken off of that list in 2009.