Some of us can't afford to stay off the internet for more than a few hours, although this virtual world is still teeming with lots of unseen dangers. Unfortunately for some kids looking for friends online, there are people like Gemma Watts waiting to pounce on them and even exploit them sexually.
Like many online predators, Gemma uses deception to make her victims comfortable and trusting. The 21-year-old woman spent her time online trying to trick young girls into getting into a relationship with her.
Obviously, most typical 14-year-old girls would not consider a 21-year-old woman an ideal romantic partner, which is why Gemma came up with a foolproof plan.
She Pretended To Be A Boy
As for the age, she was flexible based on the needs of the girl on the other side of the social media platform. In fact, she set up several fake social media accounts pretending to be a teenage boy in all of them.
From there, all she had to do was convince the girl she was age-appropriate while also trying to coax personal details out of her.
Sadly, her plan worked, and by the time she was stopped, she had already managed to get 4 girls close enough to sexually assault them. One of the girls was just 14 at the time.
When using her fake social media accounts, she would put on baggy clothing and hoodies on top of her hat and then put her long hair out of the way. This was all in a bid to make sure the girls saw her as a boy.
As soon as her suggestion to get into a relationship with the girl worked, she would travel to meet the her.
That is when the sexual assaults happened.
Charged And Convicted
For her crimes, the woman has been charged and convicted, and she will spend the next 8 years in jail.
Her crimes included sexually assaulting 4 girls. However, she might have been successful in contacting as many as 50 teens.
It's hard to imagine that someone would put that much effort into getting innocent teenagers to trust them just for a chance to exploit them sexually.
Here's a video saying more about the woman and her crimes:
Once again, a story like Gemma's goes to show that the internet is not the right place for vulnerable individuals. This virtual world has bad people lurking at every corner looking for a chance to take advantage of unsuspecting web users, regardless of their age.