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Stephen Sumner on trial for Facebook 'grooming'
8:13am Tuesday 28th January 2014 in News
A YOUNG St Helens man had sexual activity with three under-age girls after grooming them via Facebook and also raped an older teenager, it is alleged.
Stephen Sumner, 21, carried out his indecent activities over a two and a half year period and the major of the incidents happened in the bedroom of his flat, claimed David Potter, prosecuting.
Sumner, of Holbrook Close, St Helens, is standing trial at Liverpool Crown Court, where he denies nine charges involving one of rape, three of grooming and five offences of sexual activity with a child.
Mr Potter alleged: "With each of the children sexual activity was preceded by a period of grooming.
"He would engage in discussions with them on Facebook and text encouraging them to meet him and having done that a few times he invited them around to his flat where it was his intention to commit sexual acts.
"He knew at all material times that each of the three young complainants were under 16 and he knew he would be committing sexual offences."
Mr Potter said that initially one of the alleged victims refused to complain to the police but about six weeks later in June last year she gave them a statement.
In this the 15-year-old said that after a pillow fight they had sexual intercourse. After she returned home he sent her a message saying 'that never happened'.
The alleged rape victim was interviewed the following day and said she had been visiting Sumner's flat for a few weeks after her friend invited her to go round.
She claimed that he raped her while she was extremely drunk despite telling him she was tired and to leave her alone.
When questioned about her allegations Sumner maintained that she had been "100% sober" and she had initiated sexual activity between them.
The case continues