An online predator has been jailed for two years and six months for sexually exploiting 17 girls and young women using false Facebook accounts and emails.
Kevin Alexander Reynolds pretended to be a female talent scout for a modelling agency and then a professional photographer who went to meet some of the victims.
He paid small amounts of money and offered more. He ended up obtaining sexually explicit footage and photographs that the police found on his computer system and storage devices.
Christchurch District Court Judge Paul Kellar said criticism of the victims was not warranted after Reynolds' counsel, Craig Ruane, said the case had involved an element of "naivety and foolishness" by the girls.
Reynolds admitted 11 charges of sexually exploiting young people, two charges of dishonestly accessing a computer system relating to hacked Facebook accounts, and six charges of obtaining by deception relating to the older victims.
Crown prosecutor Karyn South said Reynolds had admitted a course of conduct that had gone on for years. His victims ranged in age from 13 to 20 years, but most were aged 14 to 17.
"They were drawn into dealing with him over the internet, posing for him and in some cases having meetings with him on the false pretence that there were modelling opportunities in it for them," she said.
"He preyed upon their insecurities and the desire for fame and fortune on the part of the female victims. To an extent, it was silly of the girls, but the law is here to protect young people, and teenagers do make silly decisions."
The offending had been highly premeditated. Reynolds had posed online as a female talent scout and then as a professional photographer.
He had photo shoots with them, and police found that some of the pictures involved sexual acts.
Reynolds had threatened to make images public when girls broke off contact or refused to provide more pornographic content.
Judge Kellar outlined the difficulties faced by the young victims, including one 15-year-old whose activities had become known and who found she was excluded from shopping activities with her friends, sporting events and parties because of the stigma.
He increased the sentence because of Reynolds' previous offending, but reduced it for his guilty plea, imposing a term of two years and six months.
Court told of predator's previous behaviour
In June 2002, Reynolds was convicted of burglary and being disguised for burglary.
He had a crush on a woman he knew and went to visit her when she was house-sitting.
He took a key and sneaked into the house late that night, disguised with a full-face balaclava and gloves.
He went to the bedroom where she was, and the terrified woman ripped his balaclava off, revealing his identity and ending the incident.
The next year, he was convicted of criminal harassment.
A father warned him off after finding he was peering at the young women of the family showering through the opaque glass of a bathroom window.
Reynolds did not stay away, but the family installed a video camera and caught him.
"That indicates a tendency for you to engage in covert behaviour for your own sexual gratification," said Judge Kellar as he jailed Reynolds today for more sex offending.
Reynolds is still assessed as being a high risk of reoffending.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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