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Kiwi man who used US child for sexual images has appeal dismissed | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

Troy George Skinner failed to have his conviction and sentence overturned.

Goochland Country Sheriff’s Office

Troy George Skinner failed to have his conviction and sentence overturned.

The New Zealand man who used a 13-year-old American girl to produce child abuse images, then travelled to America to see the child but was shot by her mother, has had his appeal against his sentence and conviction dismissed.

Troy George Skinner was sentenced to 21 years in prison after pleading guilty to producing child sexual abuse images.

On June 20, 2018, Skinner flew to the US from Auckland after he had been communicating with a girl in Goochland, Virginia, and using her to produce child abuse imagery.

He met the girl online in December 2017. At the time, he was 24, and she was 13, although she told him she was 16.

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They communicated via chat sessions and live video calls, and had an online sexual relationship.

But unbeknown to the victim, Skinner was capturing screenshots and video recordings of her.

In June 2018, the victim ended her online relationship with Skinner and cut all communications with him.

Later that month, Skinner left Auckland and arrived at the victim’s home in Goochland.

Troy Skinner tried to argue he didn’t know the girl was underage.

Henrico Jail/Supplied

Troy Skinner tried to argue he didn’t know the girl was underage.

But before arriving at the home, he stopped at a Wal-Mart and purchased duct tape, a folding pocket knife and pepper spray.

Skinner approached the home and tried to talk to family inside.

He then hurled a paving stone through a kitchen door’s glass window and tried to break in.

The victim’s mother sounded several verbal warnings before shooting Skinner in the neck with a handgun to stop him coming in.

He fled and collapsed in a neighbour’s yard. It was there he was caught by officers from the Goochland County Sheriff’s Office.

Officials found child sexual abuse images on two of his mobile phones depicting the young victim.

After US authorities filed a request to New Zealand officials, investigators raided Skinner’s apartment and found 120 videos and 56 images depicting the girl on his laptop.

At the United States Court of Appeal for the Fourth Circuit, Skinner argued because he was in New Zealand when he obtained the images and videos, his conviction involved an impermissible extraterritorial application. The application, if it was successful, would mean US law did not apply to Skinner because he did not commit the crime within the borders of the United States.

He also argued he lacked adequate notice that the victim was underage as she had told him she was 16.

The Court of Appeal said Skinner had ample opportunities to confront the victim and ascertain her age during their online interactions.

The victim told Skinner she was 16, which, even if it had been true, made her underage in the United States.

She sent Skinner multiple messages indicating that the age of consent in the US is 18.


A New Zealand man who travelled to Virginia in the United States and allegedly tried to break into the home of a 14-year-old girl he met online has appeared in court to face federal charges (first published on October 30).

Other messages showed Skinner was aware that a sexual relationship with someone under 18 in the US is illegal.

The victim referred to Skinner as a “pedo” in some messages while he also admitted “im a creep” and the girl said “[y]ou’d get thrown in jail if it was here” (sic).

“On these facts, Skinner can hardly claim that he lacked the ability to ascertain [the victim’s] age simply because their encounters took place on a computer screen rather than in person,” the court decision said.

The recent decision said the lower court was right to impose the sentence and convict Skinner.

Stanley M. Meador, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Richmond Field Office in Virginia, previously said Skinner’s case had an unusual element.

“What is rather unusual is for a predator to travel this extensively to gain access to their victim.

“Had it not been for the intervention of an adult, this incident could have been much worse. We encourage anyone who may have fallen victim to a similar situation of sharing images or videos, to report it to law enforcement as soon as possible, so we can help end the trauma.”

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