A young schoolgirl has recounted the horrific abuse she endured while being groomed by a ‘dangerous predator.’ Her story was told on ‘Forensics: The Real CSI’ on Tuesday, June 6.
Luke Cassidy, 29, from Coventry, groomed the 12-year-old girl using social media before making chilling threats to ‘kill her family.’ He used cannabis-infused sweets and vapes to abuse the girl and later threatened to ‘burn her house down.’
As the child victim bravely provides a statement to police, she details how 29-year-old Cassidy groomed her on Snapchat by posing as a 15-year-old boy. She reveals that he raped her several times as they met up five or six times in a period between September and December.
READ MORE: Sick Coventry rapist used sweets and vapes to groom child online
His victim said: “We were talking on Snapchat. He sent me a text going ‘How old are you? I am 15. Would you like to meet? I have got iPhones, I have got drugs, I have got nicotine.’
“And that day that we met he sat there in a car and I walked up to it and I could see he was older. He said to me ‘Oh I am sorry that I lied to you. I am nineteen.’
“I got in the car and we went to a different location near the garages. He gave me a vape and he said ‘Oh you have to give me something for it.’ I said I was skint and he said ‘Not that.’ He said ‘I want sex.’
“He pushed me out of the car. He pinned me to it and choked me. I did not like it and I started to cry and he raped me.”
She continued: “I said to him ‘Can we please stop?’ and he let go of me and went into his car and left me there. And I was shaking like mad, I was scared.”
Officers carried out an early morning raid where they arrested the 29-year-old before hauling him into custody. As the investigation deepens, it is revealed Cassidy used ‘every trick possible,’ starting off friendly and handing over gifts, to then issuing horrifying threats to ‘get what he wants from the victim.’
Cassidy initially admits to police that he had sex with her, but says he was told she was 16. Investigators struggled to collect enough evidence to prove the pattern of controlling behaviour and grooming and could only charge him with statutory rape.
Only after breaking into his phone and using advanced technology to recover deleted messages and photographs, did they have enough evidence to prove that Cassidy had been grooming the young girl. After a trial in December 2022, Cassidy was handed a 19-year sentence as well as an additional five years on licence, reports BirminghamLive.
Dan Coley, Digital Forensics Officer at West Midlands Police, said: “It matters to me, not just as a parent, but also in the hope that ultimately, we are here to help safeguard children.”
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