Dubliner allegedly among child victims of sick serial sex offender in US

A number of Irish children were among the victims of a serial sex offenders registered in America, who groomed and abused hundreds of children over the internet.

And according to RTÉ's This Week programme, one of the victims lives in Dublin.

US law enforcement officials told RTÉ that as many as four, and possibly even more, kids here were among the victims of the vile sex offender - who, in some cases, manipulated his victims into abusing younger children or engaging in acts with animals - writes dublinlive.ie.

American businessman Blake Robert Johnston, 42, was jailed last year in a court in California for 30 years for travelling across state lines in the US with the intent to engage in sexual acts with a minor.

Searches at his property in Martinez, California also uncovered huge amounts of material relating to children he had groomed and abused over the internet, both in the US and in a number of other countries including Ireland.

One child was based in Dublin, one in Meath, one exact whose location in Ireland had not been identified, and one child who moved between Ireland and another jurisdiction when the abuse occurred.

Johnston first came to police attention when a woman's 14-year-old daughter went missing.

The woman passed her child's mobile phone to police for examination and they discovered the girl had received several calls from an unidentified number. Police traced that number back to Johnston.

Within 24 hours of the victim's disappearance, Martinez police found the missing girl in Johnston's home.

He was later convicted for sex offences relating to this child and two others who lived in the US.

According to documents filed by the US Attorney's office for Northern California, a hard drive seized from Johnston's bedroom contained more than 500 folders labeled with different girls names.

The majority of those 500 folders each appeared to contain images and videos of child abuse which no law enforcement investigators had previously encountered - suggesting they were all victims who Johnston had encountered and groomed personally.

At their latest count, US law enforcement investigators had identified 94 minor victims, from at least 30 states and six countries - including Ireland, the UK, Australia and Malaysia - who Johnston had lured into creating child pornography or sexually exploited online.

Gardaí later played a role in the investigation into Johnston's activities, alongside a number of international police agencies and US Homeland Security, with the latter agency leading the probe.

Gardaí did not respond to RTE's request for comment on the case. Either did the lawyers representing Johnston.

Johnston told the police under questioning that he contacted children using messaging apps and websites.

There was no suggestion in the court documents that the technology companies behind these websites or apps were in any way complicit in their misuse.

None of the child victims of Johnston's internet abuse were required to give evidence to the US court and prosecutors told the judge that they had limited the sample of cases on which he was charged to spare what would otherwise have been a large number of child victims the distress of having to give evidence in court.

Read more news of Dublin on our site.

serialsexoffender Irishchildren
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
2 views in december
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Anotorious Estonian hitman who travelled to Ireland to carry out a murder for the Kinahan Gang has been caged for six years. Imre Arakas, who was under garda surveillance, flew into Ireland on a murder mission to take out James “Mago” Gately. The Special Criminal Court was told that Arakas bought a wig in Dublin city and used an encrypted Blackberry phone to receive information about the movements and location of Mr Gately in Northern Ireland. The 60-year-...
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he was "very satisfied" with the EU's position on the Irish backstop at last night's summit meeting. He said the European Union stands by the Withdrawal Agreement that was negotiated. EU leaders rejected British Prime Minister Theresa May's call for legally binding assurances on the Irish backstop and ruled out any changes to the Withdrawal Agreement. Speaking to reporters on day two of the summit in Brussels, Mr Varadkar sa...
Gardai are appealing for witnesses after a woman was allegedly sexually assaulted in a car in Dublin. The incident happened around Ballsbridge in the early hours of Sunday morning with investigators on the hunt for a man in his '20s or 30s' with short dark hair, a short beard, and glasses. A source told Dublin Live that one theory being explored is that the victim may have been in a taxi at the time. The source explained: "This woman was enjoying a night o...
Gardai have been gathering CCTV evidence at a hotel where an alleged rape involving a well-known sports star took place. Forensic experts and detectives visited the property in South Co Dublin on Tuesday night to hunt for clues. Initially it was believed the incident took place at a south inner-city hotel but after further inquiries it was determined it happened closer to the Dundrum area. A source said: “Detectives and scenes of crime gardai arrived at th...
The plans for the SDCC and Cluid housing social apartments were approved at Monday's full meeting of the council. On Monday, 81 social housing apartments for the elderly on a site beside Tallaght Stadium were approved by South Dublin County Council (SDCC) - writes dublinlive.ie This was despite a campaign calling on the council to save the land which houses a council depot at Watergate Sean Walsh Park. Local groups such as Tallaght Community Council and Ta...
Two people have been arrested following a stabbing incident in Dublin city centre. The incident happened on Essex Quay at around 4.40pm. A man aged in his late 20s was treated at the scene and taken to St James's Hospital with non-life threatening injuries following the incident. A man and woman, both aged in their 20s, were arrested at the scene and are being detained at Pearse Street Garda Station. Gardaí sealed off part of the south quays for several ho...
A kitchen went up in flames yesterday after some Christmas decorations were left on top of a microvwave. The Dublin Fire Brigade had to be called to quell the flames after tinsel caught fire having been left over a mircowave. Firefighters have warned others to be more careful with their decorating saying the tinsel was placed over the microwave's vent causing it to go up once the machine was turned on. They said: "Yesterday, Firefighters attended a kitchen...
A Dublin mother is extremely concerned for the welfare of her 15-year-old son after he never came home from the shop yesterday. Aleksejs Snitko went to the Tesco shop in Balbriggan yesterday, Saturday December 9 at around 4.30pm. His mother Iveta told Dublin Live that when her son left the home, he was wearing light grey basketball shoes, tight sport trousers and a warm navy jacket with a hoodie. He was also carrying a black and blue Puma school bag. The t...
A man and woman were arrested following a stabbing incident that left Dublin city centre on lockdown on Sunday evening. The pair were taken to Pearse st station after another man in his early 20s was hospitalised with 'non-fatal injuries'. It is believed a fight spilled out onto the road with one witness telling Dublin Live that she thought the man was going to be "throw him into the river". She said: "They stopped the traffic while they were fighting that...