One of Australia’s worst nightmares finally came to an end in 2010 when John Zimmerman, 26, has been jailed for 12 years on 55 counts of multiple sex acts and grooming with minors.
The horrific story began when John Zimmerman, 26, started using MySpace, Facebook and MSN to seduce young girls to having sex with him in person and show him their naked bodies via Webcam. He also used everything he recorded online to threaten them to show his recordings to the world. He stalked teenage girls and called them horrific names on their Myspace and Facebook pages when they refused to do what he wanted.
John Zimmerman was child pornography.
John Zimmerman started this sick wave of crimes in 2006 and continued till 2010. He even tricked a new victim after his initial arrest in November 2009 following a complaint by the mother of one of his victims.
All but two of John Zimmerman ‘s 55 victims were aged between 12 to 15 years, with a number subjected to gross sexual acts at school grounds and in vehicles, while many were threatened with violence or further harassment if they refused to comply with his sick demands.
John Zimmerman, formerly a music agent, used his connections and position in the music industry to get more victims with the promise of VIP concert tickets and fame and money, things the victims never saw or experienced.
The judge, after sentencing John Zimmerman, warned parents about internet usage for young users and criticized the lack of protection built into the sites by their owners and designers.
“It is abundantly clear that teenage users of social media applications such as MySpace and Facebook are constantly vulnerable to manipulative on line attack from determined, skilful, unscrupulous and serial sexual predators,” Judge Maidment said.
“It is unfortunate that those who employ their ingenuity in devising and providing popular social media facilities such as My Space and Facebook have accorded so little priority to protecting a significant class of their clients from readily foreseeable harm.
“That responsibility is left with often unsuspecting parents who may be ill-equipped to assess the risks to which their children are exposed by unsupervised access to the internet.”
There may be a ray of hope in this sickening case, on the day of sentencing Zimmerman, a 16 year old victim of his, said she had only been stalked by him and when she heard of his sick demands, she blocked him immediately.
“Don’t meet people you see and talk to on Facebook or MSN or MySpace if you don’t know them,” the girl said. “They could just be creeps.”
The teen said she wanted to be in court, along with a large number of other victims and their families, to see Zimmerman face justice. “To see that disgusting man put away, to get what he deserves.”
Zimmerman will be forever registered on Australia’s sex offenders list, the shock comes from the fact that this man showed no emotion whatsoever when he was being sentenced.
The best end to this horrific story is the Judge’s final words to John Zimmerman ‘Your offending reminds us that the illusion of confidentiality, privacy and safety … that interaction with strangers over the internet is beguiling as it is false…You pursued your victims cunningly, mercilessly and relentlessly without regard for the harm you were inflicting on them’.