Once upon a time, deep in the bowels of cyberhell, lived a 60-year-old Danish man named Kai Lundstroem Pedersen. In his free time he allegedly enjoyed stalking, threatening, and getting off to prepubescent girls. He waited for unsuspecting prey in chat rooms.
Victim One has entered the room.
The little 11-year-old girl wasn't from cyberhell or Denmark, but from Buchanan County, Missouri. According to a news release from United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri Beth Phillips, here's what allegedly happened next. Pedersen told the young girl to undress in front of her webcam, which she did. Once she was naked, Pedersen started his own webcam, and the horrified damsel turned hers immediately once she saw his nasty self.
If this were some risqué Aesop's fable, there'd be a lesson here that the girl would have learned (don't undress for strangers online), and the story would wrap up tidily. But this is no fairytale. This is Missouri.
Pedersen allegedly e-mailed the little girl and requested another webcam session, which she refused. Then he got mean. He said he had recorded it and was planning to release it into the wild Internets. He even sent her a video clip to show he was serious.
When she didn't respond, he cyberstalked the victim, sending messages to her Facebook account and telling her how many people have downloaded the video and photos of her that he said he released. He created fake Facebook profiles of men who had claimed to see her tape, and he sent messages from those accounts requesting to have sex with her and threatening her with violence.
Somewhere in this sick and twisted affair, the girl's mother received a Facebook message. It contained naked photos of her daughter. She called the police.
Those sassy police beat Pedersen at his own game. They pretended to be the little girl through an online account and contacted Pedersen, where they found out he was leaving for vacation on August 20. Five days later, they traced his IP address and voila! They located him in Stonybrook, New York.
Yesterday, Pedersen was charged in an eight-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury. And everyone is living, though perhaps not quite happily ever after.