A man who tried to buy a three-year-old girl on the dark web, with the intention of using her as a sex slave, has been jailed in New Zealand.
Aaron Hutton, who operated under the username “Kiwipedo”, was sentenced to five years' imprisonment on Friday after being charged with attempting to enter into a deal involving a person under 18 for sexual exploitation. He was also found guilty of possessing 417 pieces of objectionable material.
Hutton had been liaising with other dark web users between January 13 and February 20, 2015 under the assumption he was talking to fellow pedophiles who could arrange for him to buy the child. In fact, he had been talking to undercover investigators from the Department of Internal Affairs.
Those investigators used a tracing tool to track down Kiwipedo’s computer in an Auckland workplace in mid-2015, and subsequently executed a search warrant.
Hutton’s lawyer insisted that no meeting had been planned and no exchange of money took place in relation to the charge of attempting to buy the young girl. Hutton further claimed that he knew he was talking to law enforcement online, and was simply engaging in "a game of cat and mouse" to waste police’s time. The objectionable materials, he said, were included in a dump of government documents that had been passed on to him.
These claims came despite the fact that Hutton already pleaded guilty to the charges in his Auckland District Court trial last year. And in any case, they were swiftly rebuked.
"I can only say all of these self-serving statements are nonsense," Judge Allan Roberts declared as he handed down the sentence: reiterating that Hutton had intended to buy a child and detain her for the purposes of sexual exploitation.
"Your intended victim was three,” the judge said. “She was to become a sex slave."
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