Leone Steyn created a fictional satanic child-porn ring to allegedly defraud churches of more than R500 000 in cash and goods.
Leone Steyn created a fictional satanic child-porn ring to allegedly defraud churches of more than R500 000 in cash and goods.

Satanic child-porn fantasy used to fleece churches

By SHAIN GERMANER Time of article published Apr 7, 2016

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Johannesburg - When she was just 17 years old, Leone Steyn allegedly laid the foundations of a fictional satanic child-porn ring. She begged for sympathy and support for the non-existent children who had supposedly been saved from its evil clutches.

Three years later, she had allegedly managed to defraud more than R500 000 in cash and goods from a series of churches, Roodepoort residents and an online psychological counselling service.

Steyn, now 22, appeared in the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, where she was expected to plead to the fraud charges against her. But her case was postponed as her defence attorney, Quentin van Huÿssteen, requested that his client be sent for psychological evaluation.

Since the alleged bizarre fraud was committed, complainant Stephnie Crouse, director of MOBIEG Counselling, has questioned the young woman’s sanity.

Crouse told The Star how Steyn, from 2010, had created dozens of “characters” to garner sympathy, creating a fictional safe house where children were supposedly rescued from Satan-worshipping pornographers.

Steyn would allegedly log onto the MOBIEG counselling service using dozens of fake names, claiming to be children kept in the safe house looking for psychological guidance.

Ultimately, she had allegedly created 55 profiles of nonexistent children, using images she had stolen from social media.

For years on end, she allegedly weaved tales among the counsellors at MOBIEG of suicides at the safe house, of murders and kidnappings, begging for assistance.

However, each of the fake profiles would warn counsellors not to inform the police because investigators had also supposedly been seduced by the satanic cult.

Crouse acknowledged her organisation’s naivety in dealing with the situation and the implausibility of some of the stories, but said she was blinded by her wish to save these seemingly real troubled children.

Every time she was informed of a suicide in the safe house -and there were many - Crouse said her own mental state would be affected.

Eventually, the service ap-proached the Quellerina Dutch Reform Church for donations to help the children. The generous churchgoers raised thousands of rand in cash donations, followed by clothes and other items needed by the children in the safe house. Crouse herself would also hand over large sums of cash.

The churches contacted other branches, which also provided donations for these troubled children, with the total amount donated over those three years believed to be R592 000 in cash and goods.

The donations would be delivered to Steyn’s Roodepoort home, as she had allegedly inserted herself into the web of lies she had created, as one of the few people who supposedly knew the safe house’s location.

“Every time she needed money, she would create a crisis in the safe house,” said Crouse.

It was only after Crouse confided in a former police officer colleague in 2014 that the scam was fully uncovered, and the investigation into Steyn began.

“I was stunned. This was like terrorism against our community for more than two years,” said Crouse.

Forced to confront the churches she had solicited for donations, Crouse said the incident had severely damaged her company’s reputation.

Steyn was arrested only in January this year, after two years of investigation and released on bail.

Asked for comment, Van Huÿssteen said the court proceedings were at a particularly sensitive stage and he had recommended that Steyn not speak to the media.

The case will resume on May 10.

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The Star

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