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Leicester serial rapist jailed

|News, Sexual offences

A predatory sex offender from Leicester has been handed a 24-year sentence for a decade-long campaign of abuse.

Preston Paris preyed on two vulnerable girls, grooming them from childhood and subjecting them to sexual abuse right through to adulthood. Paris, an American national, arrived in the UK in 2001 and within months had started abusing the victims. He abused both victims throughout their childhood, raping one repeatedly from the age of just eight and the second from when she was 12.

Paris used violence, threats, emotional abuse and even further rapes to keep them under his control. The ordeal for both finally ended when one of the victims reported the abuse in 2017. As a result of that report, the second came forward.

Paris was charged with 15 offences, including indecent assault, sexual activity with a child, sexual intercourse with a child under 13 and five counts of rape.

He was tried at Leicester Crown Court and on 12 October 2020, he was found guilty of all 15 counts. He was today sentenced to [detail].

Liz Fell from the CPS said: “Preston Paris’s crimes will stay with his victims forever. Having endured unimaginable abuse for such a long and significant period of their lives, I am in awe of their courage, dignity and patience throughout the prosecution and the trial.

“Rather than admit his appalling crimes in the face of their evidence, Paris accused both victims of lying and claimed they had made their allegations up. The truth was he had taken advantage of their young age to make abuse a fact of their lives as they grew up. In court they overcame years of trauma to give clear and compelling evidence.  The detail about what they had suffered was harrowing and Paris had cruelly manipulated them to prolong the abuse. 

“The jury’s guilty verdict and today’s sentence reflects that his actions took away the childhood of two innocent children for his own selfish gratification.”

Building the case

Because of the calculated manner in which the defendant had carried out his abuse, and the passage of time, the key evidence for the prosecution was that of the victims themselves, given by video recorded interviews and live in court. The defendant said that they were lying, and the allegations were made up, but the victims gave clear and consistent evidence throughout.

The defendant tried to undermine the victims by saying that they could not be telling the truth because they could have reported the abuse while it was happening. The CPS does not accept this rape myth. It can take victims of sexual abuse many, many years to report the abuse that they have suffered and that in no sense detracts from the truthfulness of their report.  The CPS does not need independent evidence, in addition to the evidence of the victims, to prosecute offences of rape.  The victims’ evidence showed that they were victims of Paris’s use of violence, threats and emotional abuse to manipulate and control them, not that they had made the allegations up.

The abuse had been so prolific that the CPS could not charge the defendant for each time he had raped or abused them. Instead he was prosecuted for one count for every type of offence he had committed during the entire period. These are known as specimen charges. They provide a jury with enough evidence of what the prosecution say the defendant has done to give the court the power to sentence for all the abuse suffered by the victims.

Notes to editors

  • Liz Fell is a Senior Crown Prosecutor from the CPS East Midlands Rape and Serious Sexual Offences team
    • Indecent assault and three counts of sexual activity with a child: 10 years
    • Five counts of rape: 23 years
    • Two counts of rape of a child under 13 and four counts of sexual intercourse with a child under 13: 23 years with an extended licence of one year
    • Sexual Harm Prevention Order
    • Total sentence: 24 Years

Further reading

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