The Herald Sun has reported that John Zimmerman, the former tour manager of now defunct Melbourne rockers The Getaway Plan has been charged with the sexual assault of three minors he met on the Internet.
From the Herald Sun:
John Raymond Zimmerman, 24, appeared briefly in court and made no application for bail. He was remanded in custody until July 2, for a committal mention.
Mr Zimmerman, who has short blond hair and sleeve tattoos, was wearing a white T-shirt and black jeans in court. He kept his head turned away from the media during his short appearance.
Mr Zimmerman had faced an out-of-sessions court hearing last night charged with 42 offences including rape, indecent assault, making threats to kill and stalking. The charges relate to three victims but police said they needed to speak with a large number of children as part of their inquiry.
Det Sgt Craig Brien said Mr Zimmerman had set up two internet account profiles which he used to send 22,000 messages to 800 contacts. “A significant number of children need to be spoken to in relation to this matter,” he said.
Mr Zimmerman is accused of befriending the girls in chat rooms, then blackmailing them with compromising pictures of themselves. The hearing was told Mr Zimmerman threatened to expose them to their parents, friends and teachers if they did not meet him.
Investigators have worked on the case for five months and are still trawling through thousands of chat log files taken from seized computers. The alleged offences date back to 2008.
Det Sgt Brien opposed bail, saying Mr Zimmerman was an unacceptable risk. He said Mr Zimmerman continued to commit offences after police first spoke to him last November when one girl came forward to authorities. Mr Zimmerman was remanded to appear in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court today. Detectives have asked anyone who suspects they may have had contact with Zimmerman to come forward.
Update 03/09/2010: John Zimmerman has pleaded guilty to 26 rape charges. Full details at: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/sex-stalker-who-raped-teen-pleads-guilty-to-26-charges-20100903-14trc.html