Police investigate virtual rape of girl in metaverse

This just blows my mind. :exploding_head: Talk about Nanny State Snow Flakes. :roll_eyes:

Evening Standard
Evening Standard
](https://www.standard.co.uk/)

Follow

Police investigate virtual rape of girl in metaverse

Story by Anthony France • 7h

Detectives are investigating the first case of alleged rape in the metaverse after a child was “attacked” playing a virtual reality video game.

The girl, aged under 16, wasn’t physically injured as there was no physical assault. But she is said to have been left distraught after her avatar - or digital character - was attacked online by several adult men in a virtual “room”.

She had been wearing an immersive headset during the “attack”, the Daily Mail reported.

Police leaders are concerned she suffered the same psychological and emotional trauma as someone raped in the real world as the ‘VR’ experience is designed to be completely immersive.

Ian Critchley, the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s lead for child protection and abuse investigation, said: “The metaverse creates a gateway for predators to commit horrific crimes against children.

”The unusual case has prompted questions about whether the police should be pursuing online offences while they and prosecutors struggle with a backlog of real rape cases."

Details of the virtual reality case are said to have been kept secret to protect the child involved, amid fears a prosecution may never be possible.

One senior officer familiar with the case told the Mail: “This child experienced psychological trauma similar to that of someone who has been physically raped.

“There is an emotional and psychological impact on the victim that is longer term than any physical injuries. It poses a number of challenges for law enforcement, given [that] current legislation is not set up for this.”

Donna Jones, chairman of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, said women and children deserve greater protection, adding: “We need to update our laws because they have not kept pace with the risks of harm that are developing from artificial intelligence and offending on platforms like the metaverse.

“The Government needs to look at changing the law to protect women and children from harm in these virtual environments.”

Police suspect developments in gaming have opened up new avenues for cybercrime, including virtual robbery, ransomware, fraud and identity theft.

However, existing legislation is unlikely to cover rape in the metaverse because the Sexual Offences Act defines assault as the physical touching of another person sexually without consent.

The metaverse also blurs geographical boundaries, making it difficult to determine which law enforcement agency has jurisdiction over an incident when users and perpetrators are in different countries.

The Metropolitan Police told the Standard it had no knowledge if the case.

The NPCC was approached for comment.

A spokesman for Meta, which runs the free online VR game Horizon Worlds, said: “The kind of behaviour described has no place on our platform, which is why for all users we have an automatic protection called personal boundary, which keeps people you don’t know a few feet away from you.”

News of the case comes after the head of the National Crime Agency said rapes and murders committed in virtual reality in the Metaverse might have to be treated as criminal offences because of the real life impact on the victims.

Graeme Biggar said that people would “feel a physical manifestation” while wearing a haptic suit - which allows a wearer to sense actions carried out in virtual reality - if targeted by a sexual or other violent attack.

He told the Standard this was something that law enforcers “need to prepare for” and that his agency was already engaged in trying to work out how to police the Metaverse.

5 Likes

Or she could have taken the VR Headset Off.

16 Likes

I’m sure that didn’t cross her mind. :upside_down_face:

8 Likes

It’s all about creating new crimes and criminals to be outraged at.

5 Likes

I must admit… I killed several pedestrians playing G.T.A. V, and countless amount of people, probably Christians as a Prince of Persia.
I never told this before… and I feel I cannot keep this secret anymore…

Ouch! My mom just took my headset off my head…
:sob:

5 Likes

I must confess to killing random bystanders in Cyberpunk 2077, when I get a new weapon as I test various mods and such (they completely revamped the game).

I’m not sorry, and I’m going to do it again.

MUA HAHA

7 Likes

This sounds like a parenting issue to me. If you don’t want your kids exposed (no pun intended) to this, don’t get them the tech with which to do this.

It all sounds very sick to me, however.

Shooting nameless people in a first person shooter game is one thing. Virtually raping an avatar that is the identity of a particular individual active in the game seems to be different to me, IMHO.

6 Likes

Was there a Prop 65 sticker on the headset?

9 Likes

Of all the insane things I have read about, this one is real close to taking the Darwin.
Don"t want to be set-up like that?

  1. Take the head set off if you start to feel threatened, then go hug your cat.

  2. Change your avatar to one slightly less sexy.
    While the manor of dress is not mentioned in the article, I can only imagine that it would be quite curvy and busty, as to attract the attention of adolescent boys who have never seen a real girl up close, and since there is zero accountability in the “metaverse”, they feel empowered to do whatever thing they read about in dads old Hustler magazines.
    Then go hug your cat.

  3. What would possess anyone with, say, an IQ of three or more to actually report this activity to the police?
    Go hug your cat.

  4. What police agency in this country has so much time on their hands to even take the time required to listen to this kind of weeping and wailing when so many other “real crimes” need their attention? If they weren’t laughing out loud during the phone call;
    Sounds like someone in the department needs to find a cat to hug.

10 Likes

This has “I want to be a victim” written all over it. :roll_eyes:

9 Likes

The police lineup
IMG_3109

11 Likes

Think we just crossed a line in our universe! How far are we going to get, before it all turns into Bladerunner? Ready Player One, Ex Machina or The Matrix?
The Terminator is just around the corner!

6 Likes

This is an ASSAULT VR headset. We need common sense headset rules!
We have to move quickly on this.
Take their minds ( using that word loosely ) off the big bad gun!

7 Likes

I can see the humor in this, as I have a darker sense of humor. I also see that a kid was trying to play a video game and shouldn’t have to be subjected to “bros” who like to do crazy stuff in video games that they’d never do in real life (or maybe they might, who knows?). There is a chance that the girl could have been terrified, whether she took the headset off as soon as she felt threatened or not. And since sexual coercion is a very relevant thing to females, it could have been traumatic. Even though it “wasn’t real,” our brains, especially our fear neurocircuitry, have a very difficult, if not impossible, time differentiating between “fake,” imagined, and real scenarios. It’s just the way we’re wired. Doesn’t your heart rate increase during simulation-based training in a shoot-house with simunition? Plus, everyone has their own threshold for fear and trauma. Also, we have no information about this girl’s history. Maybe she has been abused before and that reactivated trauma. But above ALL else, people shouldn’t do things like this to anyone, especially KIDS. That behavior from boys and men, people who are supposed to take care of and protect children, girls, and women (in my opinion), is unacceptable. As a male psychologist in training, I find this very interesting.

7 Likes

It’s the next Me Too movement.
Put her up against REAL victims and she will get a beating!

5 Likes

Oh, this happened in the UK. I find it humorous they decided to prosecute a Metaverse “crime”, while ethnic grooming gangs operate there for decades, unimpeded, preying on British children.

8 Likes

While I agree with some of what you said, really, how does anyone playing such a fantasy game, know who the avatar belong to? I mean that the girl in the story could have just as easily been a guy named George.

5 Likes

It’s a terrible thing to waste.

3 Likes

:exploding_head: And in other news. :thinking:

Popular Science
Popular Science
](http://www.popsci.com/)

Follow

Teen ‘cyber kidnapping’ victim found hiding near Utah canyon

Story by Andrew Paul • 23m

[image]

Fullscreen buttonThe 17-year-old exchange student was missing from December 28 to 31.

The 17-year-old exchange student was missing from December 28 to 31.© Riverdale City Utah

Authorities have located a missing Chinese high school exchange student “alive but very cold and scared” on a Utah mountainside after the 17-year-old fell victim to “cyber kidnapping.” The student’s parents first reported their child missing on the evening of December 28 after he failed to return to his host family’s home in Riverdale, Utah. After a multiday investigation, local police working alongside the FBI, Chinese officials, and the US Chinese embassy located the teen at a wooded campsite roughly 25 miles north, near Brigham City, Utah, on December 31.

Fullscreen buttonTeen 'cyber kidnapping' victim found hiding near Utah canyon

Teen ‘cyber kidnapping’ victim found hiding near Utah canyon© Provided by Popular Science

According to the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Management, cyber kidnapping is a criminal strategy allowing attackers to remotely target victims. Often focused on foreign exchange students, cyber kidnappers threaten to harm their intended victim’s loved ones unless they self-isolate at an undisclosed location. Targets supply photos and videos to their manipulators, who then relay the media to family members as if the victim has been physically abducted.

In this instance, the victim’s family reportedly transferred approximately $80,000 to various Chinese bank accounts after receiving repeated threats to their teen’s safety. Although the exact frequency of cyber kidnappings remains unknown, security experts warn that technological advances such as AI vocal cloning and deepfakes could make them easier to perpetrate.

Credit: Riverdale City Utah

Investigators reportedly used the teen’s phone geodata and bank transaction records to locate his campsite’s approximate area within a canyon near Brigham City. The Weber County Sheriff’s Office deployed its Search and Rescue Drone team to the region, after which authorities came across the teen staying in a small tent with only a sleeping bag, heated blanket, and “limited” food and water.

“The victim only wanted to speak to his family to ensure they were safe and requested a warm cheeseburger, both of which were accomplished on the way back to Riverdale PD,” police chief Casey Warren claimed in a statement posted to Facebook on December 31.

[Related: AI vocal clone tech used in kidnapping scam.]

Authorities are now actively investigating the cyber kidnapping’s orchestrators and warn the public to remain aware of the scamming strategy. If such an attempt is suspected, targets are advised to immediately contact law enforcement, discontinue all conversations with the assailants, and refrain from transferring any money to them.

The Utah exchange student’s interactions with his cyber kidnappers reportedly first date at least as far back as December 20, 2023, when he first purchased camping equipment and attempted to isolate near Provo. Local police were allegedly “concerned for his safety,” and returned him to his host family the same day. The 17-year-old made no reference to his ongoing harassment at the time.

4 Likes

Nothing shocks me anymore.

4 Likes