A high-risk rapist who groomed underage girls through a social networking website has been detained for more than five years on Friday.
David Graves sent explicit messages to schoolgirls through Facebook but was caught after a victim’s mother found topless images of her 12-year-old daughter.
The 20-year-old admitted taking part in sex acts with the girl and another 14-year-old, telling police: “I know what I did was wrong.”
Graves, who had a stash of child pornography on a computer, was later discovered to have been in contact with a 13-year-old whom he also sexually molested.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard he had also spoken to other males on the internet and exchanged information with a man in Norway on the sexual abuse of children.
A judge told Graves that for a period of just over a year he pursued a course of conduct involving the three girls.
Lord Boyd of Duncansby said: “You groomed them via social networking sites and committed the serious offences to which you have pled guilty.”
“You knew it was wrong and you knew the ages of the children involved,” said the judge.
Graves had persisted in the criminal behaviour even after the mother of one victim had contacted him and warned she would go the police if he was in touch with her daughter again.
The judge told Graves that he would have sentenced him to seven years’ detention, but for his guilty pleas. He was sentenced to five years and three months.
He said: “I am satisfied there is no other method of dealing with you other than a custodial sentence in a young offenders institution.”
The judge ordered that he be under supervision for a further three years when he can be returned to prison if he breaches licence conditions. Graves was placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.
The court heard that his offending came to light after the 12-year-old had left her phone lying in the living room of her home and her mother looked through it and found messages from an older girl to her daughter and semi-naked pictures of the younger girl.
Advocate depute David Nicolson said the mother had then confronted her daughter who eventually admitted that there had been sexual contact with Graves. Her father then called police.
Graves had already been sent a message by the mother of another girl who discovered a photo of her 13-year-old daughter in her underwear on a laptop telling him that if he contacted the youngster again she would alert police.
Graves, formerly of Knowehead, Kirriemuir, in Angus, earlier admitted sexually assaulting the three girls and orally raping the youngest on a single occasion in the Angus area.
He also pleaded guilty to sending sexual communications to children via a social networking website and possessing indecent images of children.
When police checked a laptop he used they found 122 indecent images of children and 22 videos, including some at the most extreme level.
Graves first victim had contacted him through Facebook in 2012 and messages were exchanged, during which she told him she was 14, a year older than her true age, and he said he was 18.The girl later revealed she had met Graves three times and told him she was only 13.
The 14-year-old girl had met Graves at a fast food restaurant in Forfar, in Angus, where he worked and he had added her on Facebook, which led to a series of sexually explicit conversations.
She met him on various occasions in 2013 with the 12-year-old sometimes also going along.
Mr Nicolson said Graves repeatedly tried to hug and kiss both girls and sexually assaulted them. He would molest the girls and pull down their trousers and expose himself.
Graves asked police if what had happened would affect his chance of joining the Army or being able to get into America. He also claimed that because he knew what he had done was wrong that he was thinking of handing himself in.
Defence counsel Ronnie Renucci said of the first offender that he was “a somewhat pathetic and isolated figure” and added: “He presents as a somewhat immature individual.”
“He recognises he has problems and issues that require to be addressed and he recognises he needs help and support to address these matters.”