Belgian man sentenced for abusing minors during fake ‘castings’

Belgian man sentenced for abusing minors during fake ‘castings’
Credit: Belga / David Stockman

The Walloon Brabant Criminal Court has sentenced 34-year-old Jérôme B, resident of Ottignies, to 20 months of imprisonment on 27 July for sexual abuse against minors and voyeurism.

The Belgian was accused of organising fake modelling castings, promising to land young women and girls with contracts with advertising agencies. The man created fake professional credibility by creating fake profiles on social media to placate parents and victims. The suspect used these fake castings to gain inappropriate access to minors and to commit sexual abuse.

The suspect had already been sentenced by default last March to two years in prison due to the nature of the crimes. Jérôme opposed the first ruling, challenging allegations brought against him.

At the new hearing, the defendant invoked psychological problems, which he says he had later become aware of. Far from apologising for his crimes, the accused stated that he had helped one of his victims to find sponsors and that nude photos had no interest to him.

The magistrate did not find the suspects arguments convincing, confirming the two-year prison sentence agreed upon in the first instance.

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“I am distressed by this total denial while the first judgement speaks of his dangerousness and perfidious behaviour. The lack of consideration for the victims should also be noted. Mr. B is a social danger,” the magistrate said.

The sentenced man has now been ordered to undergo a specialised psychological or psychiatric treatment following the end of his imprisonment.

The suspect will have to comply with 5 years probation. Jérôme will also be banned from engaging in certain activities with minors. The court has also suspended the defendant’s civil and political rights for a period of five years.

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