An Eton College student found with more than 2,000 indecent images of children on his computer at the school had encouraged youngsters to strip for him on webcam, a court heard.
Andrew Picard was aged 17 years at the time he is accused of making indecent photographs of children at the prestigious private school near Windsor, Berkshire.
Picard, now aged 18 years, did not enter a plea to 12 counts of child abuse.
The alleged offences date from January to February this year, when Picard was said to have incited youngsters to undress on webcam and shared indecent images of children via chat messages on online video calling app Skype.
Claire Barclay, prosecuting, said the charges were too serious to be dealt with by magistrates.
“You can see from the charges that they are extremely serious,” she told the bench at Oxford Magistrates’ Court. “They include the fact that Mr Picard had in his possession 1,000 images of child abuse – a great proportion of these being category A.
“He was also distributing images to others in chat rooms, the prosecution say. The allegation is also that Mr Picard caused children to undress on webcam for him.”
She said Picard was found to have some 622 category A images of children, the most extreme kind, 1,062 category B images, and 725 category C images on computers and a removable storage device.
Picard, of Westminster, London, is charged with one count of possessing indecent pictures of a child, one count of making indecent pictures of a child and three counts of being an offender aged under 18 causing a boy aged 13 to 15 to engage in a sex act, with no penetration.
He was also charged with seven counts of distributing indecent photos of a child, relating to sharing videos via Skype under a range of different usernames or aliases.
Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC, defending, said her client would give no indication of his plea.
Presiding magistrate Erica Imison said: “Because this matter is too serious for a magistrate’s court to deal with, we are sending it to the crown court in Oxford.
“You will remain on conditional bail – you are not to have any unsupervised contact with persons under the age of 18.
“You are also on court bail. You are now free to leave the magistrate’s court.”
Picard was given bail until his next hearing at Oxford Crown Court, on the condition that he does not have any unsupervised contact with anyone aged under 18 years.