Man accused of using Facebook to blackmail young girls banned from internet

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

A 21-year-old man accused of using Facebook to contact young girls has been remanded on bail and banned from using the internet.

Upper Hutt man Brandyn Stewart appeared in the Hutt Valley District Court today on charges in relation to allegations of blackmail, contacting for sex with a person under 18 years and attempting to contact for sex with someone under 18 years.

Police said Stewart was first investigated after two 11-year-old victims complained.

As a result of the investigation, Stewart was charged with blackmail in February. He was also charged with to attempting to travel and meet a young person for sexual grooming purposes, but this was later dropped. This case is currently before the High Court at Wellington.

Since the initial investigation, five additional teenagers aged between 14 and 16 years, have made statements to police.

Today's appearance at Hutt Valley District Court was in relation to the new charges.

Detective Sergeant Christiaan Barnard said Stewart allegedly used at least three different Facebook profiles to contact his victims.

"We believe there may still be other victims who have been in contact with Stewart," he said.

"In addition to the original profile used of 'Nick Davis', we have found two others which are 'Cee Jay' and 'Cam Jackson'. Both profiles were used late last year and earlier this year."

Anyone concerned about Stewart's activities should contact Hutt Valley Police on (04) 560 2600. Those with information have also been asked to ring through.

Alternatively, police can be contacted anonymously Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

No plea was entered for the new charges, police said.

Stewart is due to appear in the High Court at Wellington next week. His next appearance at Hutt Valley District Court has been scheduled for September 10.

- APNZ

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