A Hove man has been jailed for eight years for filming himself raping and sexually assaulting a teenage girl almost a dozen times as she slept.
Daniel Curtis, 39, was a guest at the 17-year-old girl’s home on eleven different occasions when he crept into her bedroom late at night.
On most of the occasions, he exposed himself and put his penis to her mouth, once also attempting to put lipstick on her. On another, he used her hand to masturbate himself.
The girl, who was a virgin, did not wake and was unaware of any of the assaults until someone spotted extreme porn on his phone and reported him to the police.
Officers seized his phone and found both videos and images of the assaults taking place, over a period of about five months in 2019.
They also found images of other children, known to him, asleep.
In one of the images with the victim, an arm apparently belonging to a third person was seen, the court heard – but Curtis insisted he had acted alone.
Sentencing at Hove Crown Court on Friday, Judge Stuart Trimmer said: “The offences you have pleaded guilty to are of enormous seriousness, having the effect of probably lifelong damage to the victim who will certainly find it very difficult to trust people again – even close friends, even those she knows others trust.
“It will cause her to find considerable difficulty in forming relationships herself because she’s had to go through the investigation of a particularly nasty sexual incident. That will undoubtedly bear on her own view of sexual relationships.
“The court takes account of that when it comes to the sentence I am going to pass.”
He said Curtis’s “stealthy approach” and the “devious fashion” in which the assaults happened also bore on the sentence, adding: “The victim being asleep at home, trusting everybody about her, is vulnerable in these circumstances.”
Prosecuting, Nicola Shannon said the woman and her mother had been asked to view the videos as part of the investigation, looking at the girl’s pyjamas and hairstyles to date the offences.
She said that Curtis, of Goldstone Way, Hove, had accepted he had filmed the videos, but would not say any more about the context. She said there was no evidence they had been distributed.
She said: “The girl’s mother said, in her view, her daughter may be in denial and has concerns about the longer-term impact on her.
“She feels unable to stay in [the family home], which has practical ramifications for the whole family.”
Defending, Beverley Cherrill said the offences had seemed to “spring out of almost nowhere” and had not escalated.
She said: “I can’t pinpoint a true reason for the commission of these offences, save as has been intimated by [the authors of a pre-sentence and a psychiatric report] in this case.
“He seems genuine in his intention to take as much help as is offered to him and they are persuaded that he won’t be a risk to women and girls in the future.
“He really almost looks as though he’s going to collapse when he has to speak about the offences and think about them.”
Three of the incidents were charged as rape, and Curtis was sentenced for eight years each for two of those, to run concurrently.
He was given two years each for the other nine offences, also to run concurrently.
He was put on the sex offenders register and given a sexual harm prevention order, both for an indeterminate amount of time.
After the case, Detective Constable Paul Candy, of the Brighton and Hove Safeguarding Investigations Unit, said: “We began an investigation as soon is this report was received and the extent of Curtis’s offending soon became clear. The evidence we presented gave him little option but to admit what had happened, which at least avoided the trauma for the victim of having to give evidence in court.
“We always follow up any such reports with a thorough investigation to establish the full circumstances and help seek justice for victims whenever possible.
“If you or anyone you know are victim of such offending, contact us in confidence on 101 and arrange to talk to experienced investigators.
“We can also arrange expert support and access to sources of further advice.”
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