A Meath child is believed to be among the victims of a US sex offender who was found to have been grooming more than 100 girls over the internet.
Blake Robert Johnson, from Martinez California was sentenced to 30 years in prison earlier this year on charges of traveling across state lines with the intent of having sex with a minor, as well as a long list of child pornography charges.
In a report by RTE Radio One show, This Week, it emerged he had at least four Irish victims, one of whom was from Meath. Another was from Dublin, another moved to another jurisdiction and the exact location of the fourth isn't known.
The programme indicated that Johnson wasn’t really known to police in the United States until a 14-year-old girl in Oregon went missing. The girl’s mother handed her phone over to police, so they could use it in any way to find where her daughter went.
Police found a pattern of messages with an unidentified phone number , traced that number to Blake Robert Johnson and within 24 hours they found the girl at his home.
Johnson was charged for sex offences relating to that incident, but when police searched his home they discovered a large amount of disturbing materials on his computers.
It is believed the material that they found was actually in 500 separate folders, each with an individual child’s name.
This lead to an investigation that spread across multiple jurisdictions, including Ireland and it was led by the US Homelands Security Investigation Agency.
Johnson was found to have been in contact with children in 32 US states and more than six jurisdictions.
He used a number of apps, including Ovoo, Kik and Omegle to contact his victims and, according to documents from the trial, would target emotionally vulnerable young girls.