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Dublin: -1°C Thursday 15 April 2021

'An appalling breach of trust': Woman who posed as man to start relationships with girls sentenced

Three victims were aged between 12 and 17 years at the time of the offences.

Jennifer Staines
Jennifer Staines
Image: Avon and Somerset Constabulary

A 23-YEAR-OLD WOMAN in England who posed as a man to engage in sexual relationships with girls has been sentenced to three years and three months in prison.

Avon and Somerset police said Jennifer Staines set up social media profiles using the name Jason so she could contact teenage girls.

Her victims believed they were talking to a man and conversations over social media led to them meeting up and starting a relationship. In one case the relationship lasted more than a year.

Staines, of Lostock Hall in Preston, was jailed at Bristol Crown Court today after admitting the following offences: four counts of sexual assault; two counts of assault by penetration; two counts of possession of an indecent photo.

The charges relate to three victims who were aged between 12 and 17 years at the time of the offences.

An investigation began in September 2014 after the mother of one of the victims contacted the police, as she believed Staines was a woman impersonating a man.

Potentially more victims 

Investigating officer Detective Constable Nadine Partridge said Staines “deceived and manipulated her victims into believing she was a young man which is an appalling breach of trust”.

“Her actions were driven by her own selfish desires and although her victims ‘consented’ to sexual activity with her, they were deceived about the true nature of what they were engaging in.

The manipulation was so extreme that one of her victims still struggles to believe she was actually in a relationship with a woman, not a man.

“The victims and their families have been through a traumatic ordeal and they’ve found the courage to support the police investigation from the outset. I hope this outcome will help them move on with their lives.”

Partridge said she believes there could be more victims and encouraged anyone who thinks they may have been contacted by Staines, posing as Jason, to come forward and speak to police, stating: “We’re here to listen, believe and support you.”

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Órla Ryan

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