November 2017

Teen posed as US dance idol to persuade underage girls to commit sex acts

A ‘dangerous’ teenager posed as an American dance idol to persuade young girls to perform sex acts online.

Lewis Edwards, 18, set up a false profile as US dance star Madison Haschak, and coerced girls as young as 10-years-old to touch themselves on camera.

Mold Crown Court heard one girl could be heard crying, telling who she thought was Haschak – who was not involved in any way – that she didn’t want to do it.

But she did as she was asked because of how infatuated she was with the celebrity dancer.

Judge Niclas Parry described the case as the most disturbing he had ever encountered involving an offender so young.

Judge Parry said: “You created a false profile, put her pictures on it, and you persuaded young girls to engage in sexual activity.”

The offences he found himself in court for included searching for images of the abuse of babies, and followed on from convictions in 2014 for inciting girls to send him photographs of himself and threatening to kill them if he did not agree.

Edwards, of Wynnstay Road in Wrexham, was described as ”a nightmare” to monitor.

Despite many years of help to try and address his behaviour and focused, professional intervention, he had continued to offend.

It was clear that he would not stop without help, the judge said.

He had tried his best to conceal what he had done and did not recognise the harm that he was causing.

Judge Parry said he took into account his guilty pleas and the fact that he had been seriously disadvantaged in his home environment and had been corrupted morally, which was not his fault.

But the case was so serious that he could do nothing other than imposed an extended term of imprisonment to protect the public.

Edwards received an extended sentence to protect the public – four years youth custody followed by four years of supervision on licence, making it formally an eight year sentence.

Prosecuting barrister Owen Edwards said Edwards had created a false profile of the American teen dancer which had a young teenage girl following in America.

It was clear that there had been grooming and planning.

The phone and an Xbox which had been used in the offences were recovered by police in a search of his home in Wrexham in July.

A total of 78 Category A images, the most serious kind, were found together with 99 category B and 505 category C.

Graphic search images showed what he had been looking for.

Some of the acts were recorded in a live facility and one little girl could be heard tearfully saying ”I don’t want to do this” but was persuaded to do so.

He had also been in contact with other young girls.