Australian sex offender Scott Robert Hansen recently pleaded guilty in Brisbane to sending obscene pictures to a minor, possession of images of child abuse, and failure to comply with a sex offenders order, and was busted with the help of a virtual girl. The virtual 10-year-old, named Sweetie was a unique effort to find innovative, modern methods to help law enforcement track down predators.
Sweetie was created by Terre des Hommes, a Dutch children's rights group, and was constructed to look like a 10-year-old girl. There have been at least 1,000 adults in 71 countries that have contacted Sweetie, in an attempt to have her perform sexual acts. All chat and video logs are saved and passed along to law enforcement in each country, as the effort to arrest sexual offenders continues to evolve.
The project took place for 10 weeks in 2003, as a team of four researchers were approached by adults looking to engage in sexual behavior with Sweetie.