UK Police Investigate First Alleged ‘Virtual Rape’ in Mark Zuckerberg’s Metaverse

British authorities are currently investigating an unprecedented case of “virtual sexual assault” involving a minor on Mark Zuckerberg’s VR metaverse platform.

The Daily Mail reports that UK police are investigating what is believed to be the first case of a “virtual rape” in the metaverse. The incident involved a girl under the age of 16 whose avatar was digitally sexually assaulted by the avatars of multiple men in a virtual reality game. While no physical harm occurred, police claim that the incident has had significant mental health implications for the victim.

A senior official involved in the case stated: “There is an emotional and psychological impact on the victim that is longer-term than any physical injuries.” Despite the serious police attention of this case, it should be noted that no one was ever legally investigated for “teabagging” someone in Halo 3 and other popular video games.

This case has raised multiple legal and ethical questions, particularly around how sexual assault is defined in virtual spaces. Current UK law defines sexual assault primarily in terms of physical contact, which does not directly apply to virtual environments. The investigation also highlights the difficulties in prosecuting such crimes, given the existing legal framework.

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