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Groomed, abused boys

Jail sentence of eight years, 10 months indicated by judge.

A 20-year-old man who sexually offended against young boys he met and messaged through Facebook has accepted a sentence indication of eight years, 10 months in jail.

Damien Jenkins appeared this week in Gisborne District Court, via AV-link from a prison remand unit, to plead guilty to 15 charges and formally accept a sentence indicated last month by Judge Warren Cathcart.

The sentence has a starting point of 11 years imprisonment but is reduced for guilty pleas. It could be further reduced for other mitigating factors when formally imposed on October 22.

A specialist mental health report will be submitted by Jenkins' legal counsel as part of sentencing submissions.

Visiting Judge Stephanie Edwards convicted Jenkins and gave him a three strikes warning for which seven of the charges qualified — one of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection, five of sexual conduct with a young person, and one of attempted sexual conduct with a young person.

The Crown offered no evidence on two further charges of sexual connection with a young person, which were dismissed.

The eight other charges to which Jenkins pleaded guilty are meeting a young person for sexual grooming, disabling or stupefying (by alcohol), making an intimate visual recording, and five counts of indecent communication.

Jenkins was further remanded in custody. A pre-sentence report was ordered and the case referred to Restorative Justice.

According to an agreed summary of facts, Jenkins was aged 18 and 19 when he befriended five local boys online.

The boys ranged in age from 11 to 15.

Six charges relate to one of the boys, who Jenkins tried to groom for several months despite the boy's repeated insistence he was not interested in having sex. The boy also refused Jenkins' offers of money for sex.

Eventually the boy went to Jenkins' home for an innocent purpose.

Jenkins, who was drinking with an associate, plied the boy with whisky and Coca-Cola.

The boy passed out and Jenkins carried him to a bedroom, where he exposed his buttocks and made a film clip of them.

After his associate had left, Jenkins sexually violated the boy.

A few days later Jenkins contacted the boy on Facebook telling him what he did and asking him if he could remember. The boy said no.

A fortnight later Jenkins messaged a friend on Facebook and told that person what he had done.

He continued to send the boy indecent messages, trying to bribe him into another sexual encounter.

Jenkins recognised the second boy he had been messaging when he saw him riding a bike one day.

Jenkins invited him to his house for food and to play Xbox games.

While there, the boy was offered $200 by Jenkins for oral sex. When the boy did not respond, Jenkins performed it on him.

Jenkins was trying to get the boy to reciprocate but stopped when a car pulled into the driveway.

The boy went home and blocked Jenkins' Facebook account, ceasing all communication with him.

Jenkins messaged several of his Facebook friends detailing the experience he had with the boy and telling them he was keen to have sex with him.

Jenkins was drinking with a female friend when he indecently communicated with the third complainant, a 13-year-old. The boy responded by calling him disgusting and threatened to tell police.

The following day Jenkins messaged the boy telling him he could not remember sending the messages.

A further day later, Jenkins sent a screen shot of the messages to a female friend. She told Jenkins she felt angry and sick and was concerned for the safety of her own children.

Jenkins and the fourth boy, who was 14 when they met on Facebook, discussed meeting for sex and exchanged indecent pictures of themselves. Jenkins collected the boy from his home one day and drove him to a secluded location where the boy performed oral sex on him.

The pair continued exchanging indecent messages and Jenkins sent more indecent pictures of himself.

The fifth complainant initially lied about his age, telling Jenkins he was due to turn 16 that year. In one of their many messages, Jenkins told the boy he wouldn't mind “going there” with him but he would need to be 16.

Messages sent by Jenkins to the boy the following month suggested they had by then had sex with one another.

Jenkins continued sending the boy inappropriate and indecent messages for the next four months, including two indecent photos of himself.

Once Jenkins met the boy at the Botanical Gardens and took him home for food and to PlayStation games. Soon after arriving there, Jenkins gave the boy premixed vodka and lemonade drinks before having sex with him on a couch.

Jenkins later told police he could not remember sending the messages to the first boy or sexually violating him.

He said the second boy had never been to his house and denied performing oral sex on him.

He said he was only friends with the fourth boy.

He declined to comment in respect of the third and fifth boys.