Thursday 27 October 2016

Man used fake online profile to lure teen girl (15) to his home for sex

Conor O'Keefe at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court
Conor O'Keefe at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

This is the man who had sex with a 15-year-old girl he met after chatting with her online using a fake social media profile.

Conor O'Keefe (26) set up a profile as a teenage girl called "Julie" on the website Tagged.com and started chatting with the 15-year-old victim.

He later claimed he was Julie's older brother "Adam" and in the early hours of the morning persuaded the girl to get a taxi to his house where they had sex.

O'Keefe, of Oakdale Close, ­Ballycullen, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sex with a child in July 2011. He was found guilty of a further count of sexual exploitation of a child by a jury last month ­following a three-day trial. He will be sentenced early next year.

The court heard that O'Keefe's partner had given birth to their first child on Sunday. O'Keefe, an apprentice plumber, has no previous convictions and is now on the sex offenders' register.

He was 22-year-old at the time of the offences.

Defence counsel, Damien Colgan SC, handed in a probation report and a psychological report.

He asked the court to consider non-custodial options. Judge Sarah Berkeley adjourned sentencing until January 12 to allow her consider the case.

O'Keefe faces a maximum possible sentence of 14 years imprisonment on these charges.

During the trial, the court heard Tagged.com was a social media site where users created personal profiles and chatted to each other.

The site allowed children to set up profiles, but featured a security feature which made them invisible to adult users.

O'Keefe admitted to gardai that he set up a profile under the name "Julie" so he could view the under-18s version of that site.

Garda Lisa Duffy told Fiona Murphy BL, prosecuting, that O'Keefe added the girl as a friend in July 2011, and later messaged the girl pretending to be Julie's 22-year-old brother, "Adam".

The victim's profile said she was 15-years-old and she had told O'Keefe she was 15.

Early on the morning of July 30, 2011, Adam asked her if they could meet up. She initially said she had no way to get to his house but later took a taxi with O'Keefe giving directions on the phone and paying the taxi driver €45 when she arrived.

They went to O'Keefe's bedroom and talked. She said he was "bugging" her about giving him oral sex, but she refused.

She later agreed to have sex with him. O'Keefe stopped having sex with her after asking if it was hurting her.

Afterwards he fell asleep, and drove her home the next morning.

Gda Duffy said the girl later spoke to a relative and gardai were alerted.

The victim did not wish to give evidence and her victim-impact statement was not read in open court. O'Keefe did not give evidence during the trial either.

During the trial all of the factual evidence was agreed between the prosecution and defence and the sole issue for the jury was if O'Keefe intended having sex with the girl when he communicated with her.

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