A man from Tower Hamlets has been jailed for nine years for online child sex offences.
Samuel David Lopez Florez, 25 (03.10.90) of Solebay Street, E1 appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Tuesday, 5 July, to be sentenced for inciting a child under 13 years of age to commit a sexual act, causing a child under 13 years of age to watch a sexual image, and being in possession of counterfeit identity documents.
During August and September 2015, a 12-year-old girl was sent a friend request via a video chat application.
The victim accepted the friend’s request, which allowed the suspect to view and have access to her personal friends list. The suspect had a user profile of ‘samufc’. He subsequently stated that his name was Samuel Davids and he was 25 years old.
He then began to bombard the victim with various messages of an indecent nature, pressurising her to make an explicit video of herself. He ordered the victim to send him the video. In return the man would send videos to the victim of himself performing a sex act. The suspect told the victim that he lived in London but did not specify where.
The investigation came to light when the 12-year-old victim became distressed with the situation and told the man that she was breaking off contact. The man became threatening, and told the girl that he would send a video of her to all of her school peers, who he had accessed through her video chat friends list.
At this time ‘Samuel Davids’ had sent several other friend requests to the victim’s friends. They had accepted the request believing him to be safe as he was a friend of the victim. The threats to the victim continued and eventually a video was sent to her friends via the video application. This distribution caused significant alarm and distress to the victim.
He also sent various explicit images and conversations to the other children; to date there are further allegations from eight different girls who are all currently studying at Year Eight school level.
Staffordshire Police initially led the investigation and submitted a number of devices from the victim and others for forensic examination.
Examination of the account and the material sent to the victim led officers to an address in east London. Further email addresses used were also traced back to the address occupied by the defendant.
Working with partner agencies, detectives from the Met’s Sexual Exploitation and Child Abuse Command identified the man as Samuel David Lopez Florez.
Florez was arrested and broke down during interview admitting the offences against the 12-year-old victim. On Friday, 5 February he was charged with inciting a child to commit a sexual act, causing a child to watch a sexual video, possession of a counterfeit Italian identity card and possession of a counterfeit Spanish passport. He was remanded in custody.
Florez – a Mexican national – was also found to be an illegal immigration over-stayer, as his VISA had run out in January 2015, six months after he had arrived in the UK.
He appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday, 4 March where he entered a guilty plea and was remanded in custody to appear for sentencing.
Detective Sergeant Karen Bradley, of the Met’s Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, said: “Lopez Florez purposely targeted under aged girls through social media to obtain sexual gratification. Having established a relationship he then applied pressure on them to carry out further sexual activity using material that had been sent to him.
“I would like to thank the victims and their families for having the courage to come forward to police and hope that the successful conviction will help bring a measure of closure.
“Lopez Florez has admitted guilt and has been removed from society for a significant term. We will pursue all such offenders to bring them to justice. I encourage all victims of sexual offences to come forward and report the matter to police in the knowledge that they will be supported and their allegations will be fully investigated.”