Police in the UK are looking into a virtual gang that raped a girl’s “avatar” in the metaverse.

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According to the New York Post, there have been many accusations of virtual sex crimes in Horizon Worlds, a free VR game run by Meta.

According to Daily Mail, UK authorities are looking into a case that is unique in the metaverse: a girl’s avatar in a virtual reality game is allegedly the victim of gang rape. The youngster who was the claimed victim was playing an immersive game on a virtual reality headset when many men’s avatars attacked her animated avatar virtually.

According to the story, which cited police sources, officials accept the possibility of long-lasting trauma similar to actual experiences even in the absence of physical damage.

A senior officer acquainted with the case told the publication, “There is an emotional and psychological impact on the victim that is longer-term than any physical injuries.”

UK authorities have expressed concerns with the viability of prosecuting individuals under the current legislation, which are focused on sexual contact that occurs without permission. This has led to debates on the distribution of police resources, especially in light of the significant backlog of actual rape cases.

James Cleverly, the UK Home Secretary, supported the VR rape investigation.

Cleverly told the LBC platform, “I know it is easy to dismiss this as being not real, but the whole point of these virtual environments is they are incredibly immersive,” according to a New York Post report.

“And we are talking about a child here, and a child has gone through sexual trauma,” he continued. “It will have had a very significant psychological effect and we should be very, very careful about being dismissive of this.”

Additionally, cleverly made the argument that a person who would be ready to rape a child’s virtual avatar “may well be someone that could go on to do terrible things in the physical realm.”

Cleverley’s position was reinforced by Ian Critchley, lead for child safety and abuse investigation at the National Police Chiefs’ Council, who called the metaverse a “gateway” for predators who prey on children. He emphasized the need for new laws and enforcement strategies and pushed digital firms, including Meta, to improve user safety.

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