Sex Offender In The US Groomed Children In Ireland Over The Internet

Irish children were among the victims of a convicted sex offender in the US, it has been revealed.

Blake Robert Johnston, 42, was sentenced to 30 years in prison after he was found guilty of travelling across American state lines with the intent to abuse a child.

Police in the US identified 94 minors in connection to Johnston, with four of them being from Ireland, according to RTE radio show This Week.

US law enforcement officials confirmed to RTE that as many as four, and possibly more, children in Ireland were among the victims.

Searches at Johnston’s property in Martinez in California last year uncovered a book of names of children he had abused over the internet.

Children from six countries — including Ireland — were on the list.

Johnston first came to police attention when a 14-year-old girl was reported missing in the US.

The girl’s mobile phone records led police to Johnston, and the girl was subsequently found in his home.

He was later convicted for sex offences relating to this child and two others who lived in the US.

Gardai played a major role in the international investigation into Johnston’s activities, alongside a number of international police.

Speaking last year when Johnston was sentenced, US Attorney Brian J Stretch, said: ‘Blake Johnston sexually exploited an untold number of children to satisfy his demented fantasies.

‘Today he was sentenced to 30 years in prison, a just sentence we can only hope provides some measure of closure to the victims and their families who had to endure Johnston’s torment.

This office remains vigilant, ready to prosecute child predators who troll the internet targeting the most vulnerable among us.’