A “PERVERT” who tried to groom a young girl over the internet – only to be caught in a police sting – is today waking up behind bars.
Kevin Staskewicz communicated online with an officer posing as a 14-year-old girl called Chloe. He went on to be arrested after turning up to meet her at the resort’s Houndshill shopping centre.
Preston Crown Court heard Staskewicz had exposed himself via a webcam, asking: “Do you think I’m sexy?”
But he was caught out by Lancashire Police monitoring of chat rooms last October. The operation has also resulted in other arrests, all using the same internet site.
Staskewicz told a jury he had known all along he had not been communicating with a teen, but someone “winding him up”.
But he accepted that he had taken part in “cyber sex” in the past.
The 42-year-old defendant, of Enfield Road, North Shore, was convicted of attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming and another charge of attempting to engage in sexual activity in the presence of a child.
The court was told the defendant had quickly steered discussions towards sexual matters after coming into contact with “Chloe”.
On a number of occasions, he had invited her to provide images of herself. That was not done and various excuses were given.
The undercover officer – identified in court as C180 – gave evidence at the trial and said Staskewicz had said in one chat: “you’re not a copper are you?”
When arrested at the shopping arcade he told police: “This is entrapment.” After he was arrested, his computer was taken away and following the verdict last month, he also admitted seven offences of making indecent images of children.
Those were pictures of girls he had procured through his use of chat rooms – some of young girls he had been in contact with.
Francis McEntee, prosecuting, said the defendant’s account had always been that he believed he was receiving images of girls who were over eighteen and that he had been told that.
Staskewicz, a man of previous good character, had come to this country from the USA nearly five years ago.
Andrew Higginson, defending, said his client intended to move back to the States as soon as he could.
He added: “These proceedings have led to the breakdown of the relationship with his wife.
“There has been a total breakdown in communication”.
Mr Higginson said the number of indecent images in the case were few and they had been for the defendant’s personal use.
Of the material, he added: “It was viewed, but not stored.”
Jailing him for two years and five months, Judge Christopher Cornwall told Staskewicz: “You have what is a wholly perverted and unhealthy interest in sexual activities with under-age girls.”
He will remain on the sex offenders register for ten years, was banned from working with children and made subject of a sexual offences prevention order, including a condition not to have unsupervised contact with anyone under 16.