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What happens next after police contacted over explicit photo allegations

The BBC will meet with the Metropolitan Police on Monday after confirming it had been in touch with “external authorities” over explicit photo allegations against a mystery presenter.

The well-known male presenter has not yet been named after The Sun reported allegations that he paid a teenager £35,000 for sexual images from the age of 17.

The individual’s mother said her child, now 20, was using the money to fund a crack cocaine addiction which has “destroyed” their life.

Pressure has mounted on the BBC after the presenter was taken off air and later suspended.

What has happened so far?

The family of the teenager made a complaint to the BBC on Friday 19 May, reportedly asking the corporation to make the man “stop sending the case”.

But the broadcaster was still on air a month later and the youth received another payment of £1,000, according to The Sun.

The allegations were first reported by The Sun on Friday 7 July.

The newspaper alleged that a high-profile BBC presenter paid more than £35,000 for explicit photos over a three-year period, starting when the teenager was 17 years old.

The TV presenter has not been named but The Sun described him as a “household name” with a six-figure salary.

The BBC responded to the revelations saying any allegations would be taken “very seriously” and there are “processes in place to proactively deal with them”.

The corporation’s initial statement continued: “As part of that, if we receive information that requires further investigation or examination we will take steps to do this. That includes actively attempting to speak to those who have contacted us in order to seek further detail and understanding of the situation.

“If we get no reply to our attempts or receive no further contact that can limit our ability to progress things but it does not mean our enquiries stop.

“If, at any point, new information comes to light or is provided – including via newspapers – this will be acted upon appropriately, in line with internal processes.”

On Saturday 8 July, BBC presenters including Gary Lineker, Rylan Clark and Jeremy Vine came out to deny it is them after false accusations on social media.

That evening, The Sun published a follow-up article claiming the mother of the teenager had seen images of the presenter sitting on his sofa in his underwear, reportedly taken during a video call.

Former home secretary Priti Patel called for a “full and transparent investigation” into the situation.

On Sunday 9 July, the BBC confirmed that a male presenter was suspended from duties over the alleged incident.

The corporation put out a new statement saying the situation was “complex and fast-moving” and it was “working as quickly as possible to establish the facts”.

The statement continued: “New allegations were put to us on Thursday of a different nature and in addition to our own enquiries we have also been in touch with external authorities, in line with our protocols.”

In an internal email to staff, BBC director-general Tim Davie said the BBC is “working rapidly to establish the facts and to ensure that these matters are handled fairly and with care, including by external authorities where appropriate”.

The Sun published a further report on Sunday evening claiming that the presenter at the centre of the allegations made “panicked” calls to the young person last week.

The newspaper alleged that the presenter asked the alleged victim to ring their mother to get her to “stop the investigation”.

What happens next after police contacted?

A spokesperson from the Metropolitan Police said the force had “initial contact” from the BBC but “no formal referral or allegation has been made”.

They added: “We will require additional information before determining what further action should follow.”

According to BBC News, the corporation will meet the Metropolitan Police later on Monday “to discuss the matter”.

The BBC has said it had been investigating a complaint since May and that new allegations of a “different nature” were brought to it on Thursday.

The corporation has been in touch with the police as well as carrying out its own inquiries and talking to the young person’s family.

What does the law say?

The Protection of Children Act 1978 makes it an offence to take, distribute, possess, or create indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of individuals under the age of 18.

People found guilty of making or possessing indecent images of children can be sentenced to a penalty of 10 years in prison.

The law still stands even if an image was created with the young person’s consent.

Nazir Afzal, the former Chief Crown Prosecutor, told The Times that the conduct described could also be charged as sexual exploitation under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

It is a criminal offence to ask a child under 18 to send a sexual image of themselves and inciting sexual exploitation of a child carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.

However, the laws would not apply to any explicit images sent when the individual was over the age of 18.

Crack cocaine is a Class A drug and possession carries a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment, though there is no suggestion that the presenter possessed the drug.

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