Fake social media profile rapist jailed for 18 years

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Avon and Somerset Police

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John Osborne was convicted of 15 counts of rape

A trainee soldier who created fake social media profiles to manipulate a woman into having sex with him has been jailed for 18 years.

John Osborne, 27, used fake profiles to convince his victim he would be kidnapped, beaten, raped and imprisoned if she did not agree to sleep with him.

He was previously convicted at Bristol Crown Court of 15 counts of rape.

Sentencing Osborne, Judge Mark Horton said he had “controlled her body and mind” and she would “never recover”.

During the trial, the jury was told Osborne had bombarded the woman with more than 4,000 messages over a three-month period from four fictional characters.

Using the fake personas, he convinced her he would come to significant harm if she did not have sex with him and claimed he too was being forced into sex against his will.

He told her videos would be shared online and indecent images of her would be posted near her home and workplace – blackmailing her into further rapes.

‘Sexual toy’

Judge Horton said the internet, social media and dark web had “effectively became a weapon” in his hands and his actions had been “determined, planned, malevolent”.

“You believed that you had created a sexual toy you could control,” he said.

“You destroyed her mentally. You controlled her body and mind. This is worse than violence.”

Osborne, of Aust in South Gloucestershire, was also handed a 10-year restraining order and a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Temporary Det Insp Tom Herbert, from Avon and Somerset Police, said the deception was so sophisticated she had “fully believed those contacting her were real people”.

“As a result, she genuinely felt he was in danger and had to do anything she could to help,” he said.

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