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Warning Follows Sentencing of Teenager Who Groomed Girls On Social Media

Published on: 14 Oct, 2017
Updated on: 16 Oct, 2017

Surrey Police are urging parents to take an interest in who their children are communicating with online and via phones after a teenager was sentenced yesterday at Guildford Youth Court for sexually harassing girls.

The teenager received the following sentence:

  • Two-year rehabilitation and supervision order with residency condition
  • Four-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order including requirement of no unsupervised contact with females under 14 years as well as various online and computer restrictions.
  • Two and a half-year notification period on sex offenders register.

In a press release, Surrey police said that a Guildford 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, set up a series of fake social media accounts on Facebook and made contact with a large number of teenage girls, ten of which were identified, visited and brave enough to work with police.

The 17-year-old boy then sent them sexually explicit pictures and messages.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Zee Vallis said: “This teenager was persistent in his actions to harass girls online and used a number of fake Facebook profiles to add girls that he knew personally as well as those he did not know.

“The girls were then subjected to disgusting and explicit messages, images and videos from the defendant who pressured them into communicating with him.

“He also started an online relationship with one girl that he knew to be 12-years-old when they started talking. During their conversations he demanded sexually explicit pictures of the victim which she felt pressured into sending via social media channels like Facebook and Snapchat.

“The defendant then arranged for them to meet on two occasions, during both of which he sexually assaulted her. His actions will have long lasting effects for his victims who have been traumatised by his actions.

“It is a huge warning to parents that they should be paying an interest in what their children are doing online as they could be grooming others, while parents should also warn their children of the dangers of who they place their trust in.

DC Vallis called for parents to encourage their children to tell them about any online activity they are suspicious about. “Conversations can start out as seemingly genuine, however as we have seen with this case it can quickly become sinister and put those involved at serious risk.”

The offences came to light in June this year when a victim was contacted on Facebook and SnapChat by the defendant and sent sexually explicit videos. She told her parents and it was reported to police.

An examination of one of the fake Facebook accounts account found it had 67 “friends” all of which were young girls. Officers were able to trace the account to the teenager who was arrested.

Officers were able to trace the account to the teenager who was arrested and later pleaded guilty to the following charges:

  • Causing a child to watch a sexual act (eight counts).
  • Possessing an indecent image of a child Category C
  • Causing a child to engage in non-penetrative sexual activity
  • Penetrative sexual activity with a child
  • Attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act
  • Theft in dwelling
  • Criminal damage
  • Possession of Class B drugs

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