An Australian man has been sentenced to 20 months in jail for impersonating a police officer and extorting money from a man who he lured into a compromising position using a fake profile on Grindr.
Jayson Hastie, 25, lured an older man, whose identity is being kept anonymous by police, using an account on the gay dating app under the alias of ‘Alex’.
Hastie spent two weeks exchanging sexually explicit messages and phone calls with his victim before asking to meet at a beach called Bass Point, about 70 miles south of Sydney.
After he was a no-show to their first meeting on March 21, he convinced his victim to schedule a second meeting at Bass Point two days later.
The victim was greeted by one of Hastie’s friends, before Hastie arrived a short time later, climbed into the backseat of the victim’s vehicle and introduced himself, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
Hastie then claimed he was an undercover police officer and told the victim, “you have been pinged”.
He then claimed that a disc he was holding was a tracker that would bring other officers to their location, and said, “you don’t have to say anything, but whatever you do say can be used as evidence in court”.
The “terrified” victim later told real police officers that he agreed to Hastie’s demand for $2000 (about $1,400 USD) and drove to Stockland Shellharbour to withdraw the cash from an ATM.
The victim also agreed to give Hastie weekly financial “help” to keep his meeting and conversations a secret.
“If you don’t, all the transcripts [and] photos will be going to police,” Hastie told him.
Hastie then warned the victim that “if you ever do this again, I’ll find you and break your legs”.
Hastie pleaded guilty to charges of demanding money with menace and impersonating a police officer, in exchange for prosecutors dropping a more serious charge of kidnapping.