Pervert posed online as schoolgirl to lure young boys into sexual activity
An Ashford teenager posed as a girl online… to lure young boys into “sexting” erotic pictures of themselves.
Keen basketball and football referee, Ryan Lee, 19, created a fake Facebook page in the name of “Amber Lovejoy” and then targeted youngsters.
A judge at Canterbury Crown Court heard how he used photographs of a real girl in various sexual poses to entice 26 victims into exchanging lurid videos and images by text.
His lawyer Kerry Waitt said: “This case demonstrates that sexting is dangerous and degrading.”
Lee, 19, of Cudworth Road, Willesborough has now been sent to a Young Offender’s Institute for five years after admitting 11 sex offences.
Prosecutor Vivian Walters told how police raided his home in February this year and discovered disgusting sex images and videos on his computer.
Lee is a keen referee and travelled around the country officiating at basketball and football games, she said.
“He was arrested and cautioned and asked if he had been accessing indecent images of children and he said he had. He then pointed out which computers he had used.”
In May, while in bail he was arrested again after further allegations were made against him and remanded in custody.
She added: “He was inciting children to engage in sexual activity after he contacted the boys after creating a false Facebook account in the name of “Amber Lovejoy”, who he claimed was a teenage girl.
“He told police he had contacted 26 boys, aged in their early teens, and persuaded them to send him images and videos.”
Ms Walters said Lee used pictures of a girl which he then used to persuade boys to exchange images via Facebook and Snapchat.
“Fortunately none of the pictures identified the face of the teenage girl, “ she added.
After being bailed, part of the conditions banned him from using a computer or accessing the Internet but Lee broke into his mother’s computer bag and began another relationship with another victim.
The child told his parents and Lee was re-arrested and charged with more sex offences.
Lee told police he also possessed images given to him from a man in his late 50’s – he believed was Spanish – who sent him obscene pictures.
Judge Heather Norton asked the CPS if all the victims had been contacted and Ms Walters said the enquiries were still “ongoing”.
The judge said: “It seems to be that everyone of those children is vulnerable and everyone should be contacted to make sure they are safe.
Mr Waitt said Lee accepts that “nothing other than custody” is acceptable for what he has done.
”He does not seek to excuse his behaviour, “ he added
The judge said that Lee had been coming to terms with his own sexuality when he committed the offences by setting up the fake Facebook account.
But, she added, one of his victims felt he was being “blackmailed” into sending sex images which had distressed the youngster and some of his victims “may never recover” from their ordeal.
She said Lee is regarded as a posing a high risk of further offending.
The judge said that the courage shown by one victim in turning to his parents should be an example to others.
She added: “I hope the message goes out to young people that if they find themselves in a similar position that they can do something about it.”
She ordered Lee to sign the Sex Offender’s Register for life and made him subject to an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order.