Guilty plea over online chats with US girl

Last updated 05:00 19/07/2013

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A Wellington man persuaded a 13-year-old American girl to send him lewd photos of herself after sending her pictures of famous soap actor Adam Rickitt, which he passed off as himself.

Graham MacDonald Young, 60, of Tawa, has pleaded guilty to two representative charges of possessing objectionable publications and making them during three months in 2011.

On top of sending a photo of Rickitt - who shot to fame on Coronation Street before playing a bad-boy barman on Shortland Street - Young also sent the girl Elle Macpherson lingerie to wear.

Their communication came to light after the victim's mother discovered it and emailed Young, telling him the girl was only 13 and asking why he was having sexually charged conversations with her.

Young began emailing the girl in May 2011, telling her he was a 24-year-old called John Emsey. He sent her a picture of Rickitt which he purported to be a picture of himself and they continued to communicate.

A summary of facts before Wellington District Court Judge Denys Barry said that the conversations became more and more sexualised, with Young instructing her to take photographs of parts of her body to send to him, both dressed and undressed.

After being found out by the victim's mother, Young lied saying he thought she was a 19-year-old university student.

Young said he would stop but did not.

In one email to the mother he berated the parents for their lack of supervision and parenting skills, and maintained he was not convinced the girl was 13.

Police in New York found emails that revealed her true age, along with encouragement to her to take sexually explicit photos of herself.

The mother had told police she believed Young was in Australia. However, after inquiries and forensic digital analysis he was found to be from Tawa.

The information was then passed to New Zealand police.

Young has been remanded in custody for sentencing in August.

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- The Dominion Post

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