A British man devised elaborate and "unbelievable" schemes to meet underaged girls. The accused pedophile allegedly created multiple fake social media profiles, pretended to be a schoolgirl by dressing in uniform, and attempted to enroll in the minor's school.
Anthony Lonsdale, 21, pleaded guilty to eight counts of grooming and possession of sexually explicit images of children this week in court. Lonsdale was sentenced to seven years in jail. Plus, a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and five-year restraining order were enacted to prevent the accused pedophile from contacting the alleged victims.
The accused pedophile who was arrested last March went to great lengths to meet underaged girls, according to court documents.
When Lonsdale was 20 years old, he reportedly created multiple social media profiles on platforms including Snapchat, Instagram, and WhatsApp. He allegedly set up fake accounts as a teenage girl named "Tia." Lonsdale would allegedly befriend underaged girls as Tia, then suggest that they should date a 12-year-old boy named "Sam."
Lonsdale, from London, sent the victims sexually explicit photos after establishing a relationship with the minors. He also asked the victims to send him illicit photos.
"The sex offender also visited the Mansfield area dressed as a teenage girl to meet a 14-year-old girl in a park. He then convinced her and her mum to let him stay overnight as he had no money to get home," the Daily Record reported. "He met up with one of the young teenage girls at McDonald's disguised as a female friend, and tried to contact her younger sister."
After one girl stopped talking to him, Lonsdale allegedly messaged her from a fake account and told her that Sam had attempted suicide because the minor wasn't interested.
Lonsdale purportedly posed as a 14-year-old to enroll at a school in order to get closer to an underaged girl. He dressed up in a school uniform to reportedly prey on the teen girl.
In all, Lonsdale committed child sex crimes against at least three underaged victims.
Detective Sergeant Sophie Draycott of the Child Exploitation Investigation Unit said, "The lengths to which Lonsdale went to by creating several fake personas on social media, to build trust with the victims and even attempting to enroll at the same school as one of the teenagers is unbelievable. Behavior such as this is intolerable, and I would like to recognize the courage of the young girls who worked with us as part of our investigation. As a result, Lonsdale is now facing the consequences of his actions."
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