Man Used Online Games to Lure and Groom Kids: Police

A 42-year-old man who police say contacted kids through online video games and bribed them over sex videos has been arrested.

The suspect - named only as Aldo in local media in Spain - was reportedly trapped by the father of a 9-year-old boy who suspected his son was being manipulated by a grownup pretending to be a child.

After he contacted police in Malaga, Spain's Civil Guard raided the Italian-born suspect's home. They allege he had already groomed 26 children aged between 8 and 12.

Sex crimes arrest in Spain
A 42-year-old man identified only as Aldo, who police say contacted kids through online video games and bribed them over sex videos, has been arrested in Spain. Zenger

Officers found videos of more than 2,000 potential abuse victims on Aldo's computers.

Video footage of his arrest in southern Spain shows Aldo being led away by police while other officers search his computers.

He had returned to Spain to live with his mother after serving a 12-year sentence for 20 cases of sex abuse and another two for exposing himself.

Reports say he immediately began using video games to get closer to minors.

Aldo allegedly befriended vulnerable youngsters through gaming and then tricked them into making a video call to show him their private parts.

When they agreed to pose nude in front of the camera, he reportedly took a screenshot and stored it on his computer.

Police searching Aldo's computer found more than 2,000 files of child pornography.

In addition, police say he bribed the children to stay quiet by paying them virtual gifts for online games.

Up to 81 payments to video game user accounts were located.

Police say Aldo not only committed these crimes through online gaming platforms, he also offered himself as a sports instructor, camp instructor, and English teacher to have physical encounters with his victims.

According to Spanish news Antena3, there is a possible case of sexual abuse of a minor on a nude beach that Aldo used to visit.

The parents of victims identified so far were surprised to be contacted by police.

The investigation began in July 2021 and Aldo was charged with crimes of sexual abuse and recruitment of minors.

It is not ruled out that there may be more victims, so the investigation remains open.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.