Home / World News / Perverted student Ranpati Amarasinghe ‘weaponised’ X-rated images of teen girls for pleasure

Perverted student Ranpati Amarasinghe ‘weaponised’ X-rated images of teen girls for pleasure

WARNING: Distressing content

A depraved former private school student who manipulated young girls into handing over explicit images and “weaponised” them by doing something even worse is one of the worst cases a leading Australian investigator has seen.

Ranpati Amarasinghe ran a “relentless” campaign against up to six victims for two years before he was finally nabbed in Melbourne in 2020.

He manipulated young girls into sending him lewd images or videos after reaching out to them on social media using a variety of alises.

If they failed to comply with his demands for more images he set the material to their family and friends.

Ranpati Amarasinghe, 23, allegedly convinced girls aged 12 and 14 to send him X-rated pictures and videos of themselves — and then sent the content to their families.
Camera IconRanpati Amarasinghe convinced young girls to send him X-rated pictures and videos of themselves — and then sent the content to their families. Photo: AFP Credit: NCA NewsWire

The young student would eventually plead guilty to 25 charges including obtaining, publishing, possessing or transmitting child porn or abuse material.

But the 24-year-old had no idea Australian Federal Police were onto his depraved crimes when they arrested him at his Burwood home in September 2020.

It was the culmination of a lengthy investigation involving tip-offs from a police department in the US, the FBI and London’s Metropolitan Police, according to the AFP’s Superintendent Aaron Hardcastle.

It was one of the worst of sextortion crimes because of the “relentless” way the student harassed the victims even when they pleaded with him to stop, he told NCA NewsWire.

“It just kept going and going and going and that just adds to the further pain of the victim,” he said.

COUNTY COURT -Ranpati Amarasinghe
Camera IconRanpati Amarasinghe was hit with 25 charges including transmitting child porn or abuse material. NCA NewsWire / David Crosling Credit: News Corp Australia

“I couldn’t imagine being in their situation. It’s terrifying to have somebody on the other end, who you’ve never met but he’s got something of yours which is very personal.”

CATCHING THE ‘RELENTLESS’ MANIPULATOR

The Acting Superintendent is in charge of the human exploitation and cyber division and said Australian authorities spent months tracking the abuser after receiving the international tips in March 2020.

They were able to trace it back to Amarasinghe – a Deakin University student – who was likely surprised when police knocked on his door to arrest him.

“They think they’re acting with anonymity, using false personas and what not and they’re generally very surprised,” Acting Superintendent Hardcastle said.

This type of offending was sadly all too common especially with the rise of social media, the AFP detective said.

“They’ll create multiple false personas and use those to manipulate the victims so that they might have five or six personas talking to the victim and manipulate them to do unthinkable things.”

Often their victims would tell criminals they were speaking with police but the superintendent said they “don’t seem to care” and were often “self-indulgent”.

The student was slammed by a judge over his “depraved” crimes and will spend at least eight and a half behind bars for his vile offending. Victoria Police
Camera IconThe student was slammed by a judge over his “depraved” crimes and will spend at least eight and a half behind bars for his vile offending. Victoria Police Credit: Supplied

“They don’t realise their footprint on the internet is like a fingerprint in many respects, we’re always going to find them,” Superintendent Hardcastle said.

Amarasinghe was sentenced in Victoria’s County Court earlier this week, where Judge Douglas Trapnell described the accused’s crimes as “inhumane”.

“It serves to demonstrate the depths you were prepared to plunge to in your perverted and quite frankly inhumane mission to completely destroy your victims’ lives,” he told the court.

He would threaten the girls if they didn’t comply, one who was as young as 10 when they started talking, telling them he would “ruin them” and that “whores deserved to be exposed”.

The abhorrent behaviour was “relentless” according to Superintendent Hardcastle.

“The victims were deceived into self-producing child abuse material…that material was weaponised against them in a campaign to punish and shame them for trying to stop that further abuse,” he said.

STUDENT’S ‘DEPRAVED’ CRIMES

The former private school student had used multiple fake personas to trick his victims into sending lewd photos including the pseudonyms “John” and “Emma Law”.

In November 2018 “John” struck up conversation for “BW” who was just 13.

“John” asked her to send naked images and videos of herself.

She complied but when she declined to send more Amarasinghe threatened to send the material to her family and friends.

Her story was not dissimilar to another victim dubbed “ZZ”, also aged 13.

COUNTY COURT -Ranpati Amarasinghe
Camera IconAmarasinghe will face a lengthy sentence after pleading guilty to . NCA NewsWire / David Crosling Credit: News Corp Australia

“John” started talking to “ZZ” on Snapchat before he found her Instagram account after she tried to block him.

He threatened to tell her friends she was a “whore” if she didn’t comply and would direct her to perform sexual acts on camera.

A third victim known as “LB” came forward with a similar story about how she started talking to the offender on Instagram and complied with his demands to send nudes before blocking him.

He made the same threats to “LB” who did what he asked.

But when she pleaded with him to stop, he told her: “I told you I’ll be gone and everything will be gone after you do what I want.

“I am ruining your life and you don’t give a shit. You are a f —king whore”.

When a victim’s mother messaged Amarasinghe and told him his daughter was having suicidal thoughts, he said he hoped she died.

THE ‘CHILLING’ CONVERSATION

In June 2020, police carried out a search warrant on an Instagram account called “Sarah.lake5” which was later revealed to belong to Amarasinghe.

Court documents revealed he sent three lewd videos of victim “ZZ” to an unknown Instagram user through the chat function in 2018 which prompted the following conversation.

NED-5366 Insta Convo B“Did you get it?,” he asked.

“Yea,” the receiver replied.

“Do you know any other guys I should send to? Shall I send to all of ur followers?,” Amarasinghe asked.

“Nah none of my followers know them,” the receiver replied.

Amarasinghe then asked for the names of the victim’s boyfriends before pushing the responder further about whom he could send the explicit content to.

“Are they from ur school?,” he asked.

“No, I live near them,” the receiver replied.

“I go to a boarding school. But if you got more send em my way bruh.”

NED-5366 Insta Convo AThe Instagram user then asked why Amarasinghe was so hellbent on outing these young girls.

“Cuz they are sending nudes to other people when they already have bfs bro. I don’t like that,” he said.

“You know what we call them: Whores. Whores deserve to be exposed.”

While handing down his sentence on Thursday Judge Trapnell described this particular conversation as “chilling”.

“It serves to demonstrate the depths you were prepared to plunge to in your perverted and quite frankly inhumane mission to completely destroy your victims’ lives,” he told the court.

SOME OF THE ‘WORST’ CYBER CRIMES EVER SEEN

When Australian Federal Police raided his property they seized his iPhone and hard drive where they uncovered 42 pictures and two videos on the latter.

They also uncovered nine images and one video on his phone, both considered to be child abuse material.

Judge Trapnell unleashed on Amarasinghe, describing him as a “brutal coward” who had “callously threatened” his victims and that his “depravity knew no bounds”.

“You hid behind the cloak of anonymity while acting as a sexual predator online,” he told the court.

“It was brutal. It was bad enough to compromise these girls sexually but to carry through with threats.

“It’s really serious. This is as bad as it gets. I have never seen anything as bad as this in my career.”

Amarasinghe was sentenced to a maximum of 13 and a half years behind bars.

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