September 2019

Man who raped woman after grooming her with fake online profiles jailed for 18 years

A man who created multiple false online personas to manipulate a woman into having sex with him has been jailed for 18 years.

John Osborne, 27, of Aust, South Gloucestershire, used fake profiles to convince his victim he would come to significant harm if she didn’t agree to sleep with him.

Osborne, was convicted of 15 counts of rape following a trial at Bristol Crown Court last month. He was sentenced today (Friday, 20 September) at the same court.

Each of the personas Osborne created had their own name, phone number and social media profiles.

During the trial, the jury was told he targeted his victim and used four fake social media profiles to bombard her with more than 4,000 messages over three months.

He initially used the profiles to befriend her, so that she would divulge details of her private life before using it to threaten and intimidate her and isolate her from her friends and family.

Each of the personas he created claimed to know the person she knew as John Osborne and convinced her that if she didn’t agree to have sex with him then he would be kidnaped, assaulted and raped.

When they met in person, Osborne claimed he too was being forced into sex against his will.

Using the fake profiles he then claimed video evidence of the two together existed and would be shared on the internet while indecent images of women would be distributed near the victim’s home and place of work with her name and phone number on – effectively blackmailing her into having sex on further occasions.

Following his 18 year prison term, Osborne faces an extended period of five years on licence and will be on the sex offenders register for life.

He was also given a 10 year restraining order as well as a 10 year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.