A man from Catford has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty for rape and blackmail at Woolwich Crown Court.
Rhys Miller-Offiong, 24, used fake social media profiles to convince young women to send compromising pictures of themselves.
Crown Prosecutor Neil Sandys explained that one of the underaged girls attended a meeting set up by the man and realised he was not the person she thought she had been engaging with online.
The practice of deceiving people using a fake identity via social media is known colloquially as “catfishing.”
Miller-Offiong threatened to send compromising pictures of the girl to her friends and family, if she refused to go with him. The girl left with him, to his flat in Catford, where she was raped.
When the victim contacted police, there were able to trace Miller-Offiong through social media.
Further investigations established two other young women who had also been tricked by the into sending compromising images and videos of themselves to him.
Detective Constable Paul Harakis of the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command said: “Miller-Offiong is a predatory sex offender who has drawn unsuspecting girls into his sexual trap via social media. The victims, in this case, have shown real strength of character and fortitude by both assisting our investigation and providing evidence to the court which left Miller-Offiong with little option than to plead guilty.
I would like to praise their bravery and courage in coming forward and I hope it gives them some form of closure now that Miller-Offiong is behind bars.”
Rhys Miller-Offiong was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment concurrently for rape, blackmail, distributing indecent images of a child, disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress and intent to commit a sexual offence.