A North Anston man who sexually exploited two 15-year-old girls has been jailed for six years.
Lee Pearson, 28, of Wright Street, North Anston, forced the girls into a sexual relationship with him despite knowing they were both underage.
Pearson befriended the girls when they were both 14-years-old and the abuse began several months later in September 2011.
He assaulted both girls on numerous occasions and threatened one of his victims with violence.
The abuse continued for almost a year before one of the victims plucked up the courage to contact police in August 2012.
South Yorkshire Police’s Child Sexual Exploitation Unit launched an investigation and Pearson was arrested and charged with rape, sexual activity with a child and sexual assault.
He was convicted by a jury at Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday, June 17 following a 7 day trial and was sentenced to six years in prison.
Investigating officer Detective Constable James Crossley said: “This man exploited these girls, who were vulnerable due to their age, for his own sexual gratification.
“Pearson lied to police and denied the allegations put to him, despite forensic evidence to the contrary, and forced his victims to go through the ordeal of a court case.”
“I would like to commend the bravery of both young girls for reporting it to police and for facing their attacker in court.”
“They have been supported throughout this ordeal by specially trained officers and will continue to receive support in the future as they attempt to move on with their lives.”
“Exploitation can take many forms and violence, or threats of violence, is one of the ways abusers try to control their victims.”
“I would urge anyone who is, or has been, a victim of sexual exploitation to come forward and report it to police.”
“We will investigate it thoroughly and do everything in our power to bring perpetrators of sexual offences to justice.”