Czech police said Friday they are investigating alleged sex predators after a new documentary using adult actresses posing as girls on Facebook and other social media sites revealed that over 2,000 men had expressed interest.
Prague police spokeswoman Eva Kropacova said nine people were suspected of "attempting to establish illegal contacts with a child, facing up to two years in prison" after the filmmakers offered the material to the police.
"Two people have been charged so far. One of them has already received a 10-month suspended sentence," she told AFP.
The filmmakers said 2,458 people had sent messages to three actresses pretending to be 12-year-old girls on Facebook, Skype, Snapchat and Czech social media over 10 days of shooting.
Only a few actually appeared in the film. The police are focusing on those cases.
Kropacova said four suspects including a woman were still being investigated over different sex crimes.
"Don't you mind that I'm 12?" each of the girls asks predators who offer pictures of their genitals or masturbate on camera in the "Caught In The Net" documentary which sparked a nationwide debate on child abuse on the internet even before Thursday's premiere.
As the film goes on, men with blurred faces ask the girls to strip on camera or send them naked pictures, then blackmail them threatening to post the photos on the web - before some ask the girls out.
At a date, one of the actresses gets a threesome offer from a man and a woman who insist that they do not mind that she is only 12.
"I had 16 messages from men of all ages and my profile was not even completed," actress Tereza Tezka told AFP about the early phase of the film shot mostly in three girl's rooms with plush toy animals.
"This is when I realised how big of a problem it is," added the 24-year-old married actress.
The film is being screened in two versions across the Czech Republic, one for children and one for viewers above the age of 15.
The Czech National Institute of Mental Health said about 40% of sex predators on the internet suffer from paraphilic disorders and only 5-10% are paedophiles.
"The remaining 60% are psychosexually normal men with different kinds of motivation to such behaviour," the institute said.
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