Online predator Christopher Lance Keenan jailed for six years

Christopher Lance Keenan, 26, sexually offended against young girls he met through Facebook.

Christopher Lance Keenan, 26, sexually offended against young girls he met through Facebook.

An online sex predator has been jailed for six years after admitting offending against seven girls – the youngest just 13.

One of Christopher Lance Keenan's victims was present at court to see the jail term imposed on Wednesday by Christchurch District Court Judge Tom Gilbert.

The term will begin in three weeks when Keenan's current prison sentence on other charges expires.

The 26-year-old admitted three charges of sexual conduct with girls under 16, two of carrying out indecent communication with a girl under 16, two of causing harm by posting a digital communication online, and one of obtaining by deception.

Crown prosecutor Nicola Pointer said it had been "insidious" offending.

Defence counsel Jay Lovely said Keenan was described in a pre-sentence report as "realistic and reflective". He was looking forward to getting a job "once he's better".

Judge Gilbert said the offending involved engaging in sexual conduct with young girls through Facebook.

He had induced two girls aged 13 to meet him at Hansen Park in August 2015, where he gave them cigarettes and had oral sex and unprotected sex. He treated another girl roughly during another sexual encounter.

Keenan filmed part of the encounter in the park and sent the video to one of the girls to pressure her into sending naked photographs of herself. The other girl sent photographs on the promise of large amounts of money.

The judge said Keenan used the internet to contact girls and try pressure them into providing explicit photos. Where there was resistance, he would make threats. He created a second Facebook profile in another name to leverage up the pressure.

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Where images had been provided, that fact was used to try coerce more of them. Keenan told the girls their images had been put on the dark web, or sold to pornographic sites.

The judge noted Keenan had a difficult past, and accepted the need for treatment.

He imposed a series of concurrent sentences totalling six years. Keenan has already received a first-strike warning for repeat sexual offenders, and will be registered as a sex offender for continued monitoring.

 - Stuff

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