A MAN faces years behind bars after he admitted raping a child under 13.
Dennis Rocha, of Beck Row, Mildenhall, Suffolk, was sentenced at a hearing at Swindon Crown Court on Wednesday (August 16).
On April 8 this year, Rocha added the victim, who was aged 12 at the time, on social media.
He initiated a conversation and, despite knowing the victim was underage, turned the conversation sexual and arranged to pick her up in Wiltshire the following day. A sexual encounter then took place, the court was told.
The victim subsequently told her mother, who reported it to the Force, and Rocha was swiftly arrested, charged and remanded in custody.
The 18-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts of raping a child under 13 and was given a sentence of six years and eight months.
A one-year licence extension period was also imposed, and Rocha will also be subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and must sign the sex offenders’ register on release.
Investigating officer DC Amanda Lord, of the Child Abuse Investigation Team, said: “Rocha instigated this encounter with the victim despite knowing she was underage.
“He knew what he was doing was illegal and had ample opportunity to cease contact with the victim, but continued and took advantage of her for his own gain.
“We take offences like these incredibly seriously and we will always look to protect children from predators such as Rocha and ensure perpetrators of sexual offences are put before the courts.
“I’d also like to commend the victim for her bravery and courage in speaking to us.”
Anyone who has been a victim of child abuse or a sexual offence is encouraged to contact Wiltshire Police on 101, or 999 in an emergency.
Victims can also seek support and counselling from the Swindon and Wiltshire Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) – they can be contacted on the helpline 01793 781916.