Two years ago, The Onion dreamed up a scenario in which Justin Bieber is revealed to be a 51-year-old pedophile who crafted a lovable teen heart throb persona to gain access to underage girls. It was the sort of dark, absurdist humor the satirical newspaper thrives at, but no one thought it would actually sort of come true.
Today, a Canadian man stands accused of doing something close: "Posing as teen idol Justin Bieber and coaxing a young girl to perform sex acts online," reports the Associated Press. Somebody pinch us, please.
The difference between the two cases is The Onion's far-flung sketch had the suspected pedophile donning a rubber mask to invent the Bieber persona. "Police arrested teen pop star Justin Bieber today after an investigation revealed he is not a 16-year-old hearthhrob but rather a 51-year-old pedophile in disguise," read the fake news anchor.
In the real-life case of Lee Moir, pictured above, the suspect is charged with disguising himself as Bieber online and operating under fake Facebook profiles such as Justy.beber1, Lee ONeel, and Yodayoda001.
"Toronto police allege Moir impersonated Bieber — a pop sensation with a fiercely loyal following among teenage girls — and convinced a 12-year-old victim to film sexual acts on her web cam," reads the AP report. "Moir repeatedly threatened to harm the victim's family and post her image to pornographic websites, police allege."
The Onion is of course well known for eerily predicting the future, from Gilette's razor with five blades, President Bill Clinton's stance on term limits, Al Qaeda decrying the 9/11 truthers, or Apple's keyless keyboard. This just happens to be one work of satire no one ever wanted to see lived out. See the original sketch below:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.