Austrian police arrest man in large-scale cybergrooming case

BERLIN (AP) — Austrian police have arrested a 27-year-old man suspected of grooming dozens of children to film themselves performing sexual acts and sending them to him, authorities said Monday.

Police in the northern region of lower Austria said the suspect, an Austrian citizen whose name wasn’t released for privacy reasons, was detained Friday in the town of Amstetten.

He is suspected of using messenger services to contact 52 boys aged between 11 and 17, and offering them money or valuables to send him sexual videos of themselves. The suspect is also accused of meeting some of his victims and sexually abusing them.

Police said the suspect and another man, a 22-year-old Turkish citizen, are also accused of abusing a mentally ill 23-year-old man by tying him up, extinguishing cigarettes on his body and forcing him to allow the older suspect to perform sex acts on him.

Lower Austria police said the 27-year-old suspect has confessed to investigators, while the younger man has made a partial confession. Both remain detained pending further investigations.

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