Police: Pedophile Propositioned 1,000 Underage Girls via Internet

Police are holding a Tel Aviv man who is suspected of propositioning about 1,000 children via the Internet.

Police believe that Avinoam Braverman, 32, whose custody was extended by the Rishon Letzion Magistrate's Court yesterday, attempted to lure girls aged 8 to 15 into having Internet sex with him. He is also suspected of pressuring some of the girls to meet him for sex in real life.

Braverman allegedly had sexual conversations with the girls, performed virtual sexual intercourse with them in front of a web camera and persuaded some of them to send him nude photographs of themselves.

Braverman is also likely to be charged with raping, molesting and sodomizing three girls in real life.

In addition, police are looking into whether Braverman was in contact with other pedophiles.

During a search of Braverman's home, police seized computers containing records of his conversations with nearly 1,000 underage girls, as well as dozens of pictures of young girls, including photos of an explicit nature.

They also found girls' underwear, which he allegedly took after having intercourse; stuffed animals, which he may have given the girls; and other items related to his suspected activity.

Police believe Braverman used to send the girls close-up pictures of his genitals and masturbate while they watched via webcam. While he was masturbating, he would allegedly ask the girls to touch themselves.

Braverman allegedly presented himself on the Internet as someone aged 21 to 25, and maintained contact with some of the girls for months until he managed to persuade them to meet him. In some cases, he went to the girls' homes when they returned from school, after making sure their parents were still at work and the house was empty.

He also tried to persuade the girls to pretend to be sick and cut school. Then, after their parents had gone to work, he would visit them at home for sexual intercourse, or invite them to his home.

On other occasions, he would go on a trip with them or order pizza for them. He offered to pay for their trips if they would come to see him.

Braverman found the girls via popular Internet sites for children and teens, such as Shox, Moomoo the Cow and Kids TV, using names like Moss, Avi and Avinoam. He also used ICQ and instant messenger to chat with the girls.

The affair came to light when the parents of one girl complained to the police after discovering that their daughter had been chatting online with an adult man for a long time, and had even met him and had sexual intercourse with him.

Braverman's lawyer, Benzi Kveller, said his client denies the allegations. Kveller said police are suspicious of Braverman because of three incidents in which he was in contact with children.

However, not every person who calls herself a teenager on the net is a lawbreaker, Kveller said.

"It's overblown; there won't be 1,000 complainants or 1,000 charges," he added. "I think the police are looking for something equivalent to [suspected cult leader] Goel Ratzon, but this is not the case."