Barnham pedophile sentenced to 20 years in prison after FBI investigation

A pedophile posing as a young woman has been sentenced to 20 years in prison following an investigation involving the FBI.

Luke Smith, 53, posed as a 20-year-old woman to text a man in the US and persuade him to sexually abuse a baby.

The man was convinced he was attacking his partner’s 20-month-old son on camera.

The boy’s mother discovered what had happened and the man was arrested. Since then he has been in prison.

An investigation was launched involving the FBI and Sussex Police.

Smith, who was living in Orchard Way, Barnham, near Bognor at the time of the crimes, was arrested and several devices confiscated, including his laptop and phone.

This included dozens of requests from Smith that the little boy be sexually assaulted.

The crimes occurred between July 2018 and December 2019.

The Argus: Luke SmithLuke Smith

He was charged and appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court on Friday, August 19, where he pleaded guilty to nine counts of encouraging the penetrative sexual assault of a child under the age of 13 and four counts of indecent imagery of to have made to children.

Some of these were Category A, considered the most extreme.

Smith, now at Hewitt Road in Portsmouth, was sentenced today.

He will also be placed on the sex offenders register for life.

Detective Sergeant David Rose of the Pedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT) said: “Luke Smith is a predatory pedophile who thought he could hide by committing his crimes online while pretending to be an opposite gender and a fake one names used.

“While Smith’s actions cannot be undone, we hope his admission of guilt and lengthy prison sentence will bring some kind of closure to the victim and his family.

“His actions are among the most reprehensible the team has encountered and I thank them for their strength and professionalism throughout the investigation. We also want to express our gratitude to the FBI for their assistance and transparency during the investigation.” Barnham pedophile sentenced to 20 years in prison after FBI investigation

Fry Electronics Team

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