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Sextortion against a 17-year-old girl: Home detention for a former police officer posing as a McGill student

A former Ontario police officer who posed as a McGill University student was just sentenced to 15 months of house arrest for blackmailing a teenager by threatening to share nude photos of herself.

• Also read: As a victim of sextortion, he committed suicide at the age of 12

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“The court wants the victim to know that she has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. “It was manipulated by the defendant, who, thanks to his courage in going to the police, has now taken responsibility for his actions,” said Judge Suzanne Costom at the Montreal courthouse this month.

The judge imposed a community sentence of 18 months suspended on Alaa Almosawi, who pleaded guilty to harassment and extortion.

The plaintiff in this case was 17 years old in November 2019 when she fell into the perpetrator's clutches on the Tinder application.

This story, described by the court as “sextortion”, turned the life of the young woman upside down, who suffered particularly from depression, anxiety and intimacy problems.

“To this day, she is still afraid that her friends or family will see the photos that he threatened to distribute,” Judge Costom describes.

A model

Alaa Almosawi initially identified himself as Luca, a 19-year-old student at McGill University.

The victim was completely unaware that he was a 30-year-old police officer who lives in Ontario.

During the course of the conversation, the young woman shared unclothed photos of herself and videos with sexual connotations.

Almosawi, for his part, provided photos of a model. During video chats via Skype, he also explained that the poor image quality was due to a poor WiFi network connection.

However, their new relationship quickly fell apart. The duo were supposed to meet at the victim's address until she was contacted by the defendant's alleged girlfriend and asked to stop all communication.

Pot with roses

The teenager eventually realized that the defendant had lied about his identity and wanted to break off the connection. Almosawi retaliated by threatening to send intimate images of the victim to those around him.

“The victim begged the defendant to delete the videos and he insisted on having a video call with her,” says Judge Costom. Given his pressure, she sent two more photos.

After he was caught by authorities in January 2020, the now 34-year-old man was released by the police.

Given Alaa Almosawi's employment at the time of the crimes, “the court holds him to a higher standard than other persons likely to commit similar crimes,” Judge Costom said.

“Unfortunately, cases of this nature are becoming increasingly common and are a dangerous and unfortunate byproduct of the ubiquity of the internet and social media and the anonymity they often provide,” she added.

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