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Sunday 11 December 2016

Trainee plumber (26) used fake online profile to lure girl (15) into having sex

Conor O'Keefe pretended to be a 13-year-old girl on social media site
Conor O'Keefe pretended to be a 13-year-old girl on social media site

A Dublin man has been convicted of using a fake social media profile to convince a young girl to go to his house and have sex with him.

Conor O'Keefe (26) set up a profile as a 13-year-old girl called "Julie" on Tagged.com and started chatting with the 15-year-old victim.

He later claimed he was Julie's older brother "Adam" and persuaded her to get a taxi in the early hours of the morning 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 June 2011 and not guilty to sexual exploitation. He was found guilty by a jury following a three-day trial and four-and-a-half hours of deliberation.

Following conviction, the defence asked that he be allowed to remain on bail so he could sit his exams as part of his plumber's apprenticeship.

Judge Sarah Berkeley agreed to grant him bail for a short time to get his affairs in order.

All of the factual evidence was agreed between the prosecution and defence, and the sole issue was if O'Keefe intended having sex with the girl when he communicated with her.

Defence counsel Damien Colgan told jurors the prosecution was asking them to second guess. He said there were no emails or correspondence to say anything of a sexual nature was mentioned between the parties.

Gda Lisa Duffy told Fiona Murphy, prosecuting, that Tagged.com was a site where users created personal profiles and chatted to each other.

O'Keefe admitted he set up the profile of "Julia" so he could view the under-18s version.

The victim made contact with the fake profile and the two chatted. "Julia" told the girl she had a 22-year-old brother called Adam who had a car and asked if she would be interested in meeting him. The girl told "Julia" she was only 15.

Bugging

O'Keefe later spoke to the girl as Adam using the Julia account. He also emailed her a picture of himself.

Early one morning O'Keefe asked the girl to come over to his house. He told her to get a taxi and he would pay for it.

She said that when she arrived he began "bugging" her about giving him oral sex. He told her she'd have to agree to do something. The girl agreed to have sex with him.

When she arrived home, her mother could tell something was wrong. The girl later told her what had happened and gardai were alerted.

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