Arnaud Uppiah targeted six victims online between 2013 and 2017.
Arnaud Uppiah targeted six victims online between 2013 and 2017.

Sex predator coerced, threatened underage girls online

A vile sex predator used Facebook to coerce and threaten underage girls into making child pornography.

Arnaud Uppiah was in Australia illegally when he forced six victims aged between 13 and 17 to perform, record and transmit lewd acts online between 2013 and 2017.

Uppiah - a Mauritian national - targeted "vulnerable girls he wanted to have his way with," the court heard.

Uppiah demanded nude pics and videos, and force the girls to engage in phone and internet sex.

He would threaten to send the photos to his victims' parents if the frightened girls did not do what he wanted.

Uppiah also threatened to bash the girls' parents and go to the schools of his victims to bash them.

Sometimes he would send the girls money and phone credit in exchange for nude photos and videos.

The depraved man, who the court heard was also a loner and a drunk, would contact his victims several times a week and demand they engage in phone sex.

Uppiah would send them photos of adult women in a sexual positions he wanted them to adopt.

He would also force his victims to make pornographic videos which sometimes lasted up to an hour.

Uppiah would often invade his victims' homework time or sleep at night with his abusive and perverted demands.

Many of Uppiah's victims would block him on Facebook and change their phone numbers but the predator would come at them with fake profiles.

Uppiah forced some of his victims to produce and send more 100 images and videos.

The girls said they wanted to stop but couldn't because they were scared of what Uppiah might do.

Uppiah was arrested in November, 2017 when police found almost 200 child abuse photos on his phone.

He initially denied the charges, telling police he did not ask his victims for nude photos.

Uppiah was granted bail but placed in immigration detention.

While there he contacted one of his victims to wish her a happy birthday.

The court heard Uppiah was a loner who drank alcohol and trawled the internet.
The court heard Uppiah was a loner who drank alcohol and trawled the internet.

Judge Frances Hogan, who at times struggled to deliver her remarks during an emotionally charged sentencing, said Uppiah's offending was "callous, cruel and carries high moral culpability".

"When you came into their lives, your victims were vulnerable adolescents, still coming to terms with their sexuality and trying to make sense of the world," she said.

"The predatory, persistent, humiliating and cruel nature of your offending to vulnerable girls who were just developing their sense of sexual identity, the sentence imposed must be a significant one."

Judge Hogan also took aim at two psychologists who opined Uppiah's low self-esteem, loneliness and alcohol abuse "motivated" his offending.

Both psychologists assessed Uppiah as having a "relatively low risk of further sexual offending".

"To assess an offender like yourself via a video link conference of approximately one hour seems to me to be inadequate," Judge Hogan said.

"There are a host of people who suffer this constellation of issues yet they do not engage in this persistent deeply offensive conduct against adolescent girls aged in their early to mid-teens.

"It makes no sense to me (one of the psychologists) should opine that you do not appear to have an ongoing entrenched disorder of sexual preference."

Uppiah, 37, was sentenced in the County Court on August 22 to a maximum 12 years and five months in prison with a non-parole period of seven years and 11 months after pleading guilty to 29 charges including causing a minor to make child pornography and using a carriage service to transmit child pornography.

He had spent 468 days in custody at the time of sentencing.

Uppiah will be deported when released.