In a shocking incident, a young British woman is under custody. She has posed as a teen boy to and tricked dozens of young girls into having sexual relations with her. She will be sentenced on Friday and may face a jail term.
Gemma Watts, 21, created an online persona as a 16-year-old boy, Jake Waton, and used social media to build up ties with girls as young as 14. Her male alter ego is state by police as very believable.
In November, seven charges relating to four victims of 14 and 15 is on Watts. Police assume that she is a prolific predator and that many more victims are likely to appear.
The charges included sexual assault and subsequent sexual grooming of a child. Watts is on probation, to try at southern England’s Winchester Crown Court. So the British Woman would continue her grooming by liking the profiles of girls on Snapchat or Instagram, and then give them messages of compliments. Perhaps she’d call them “Babe” or some other pet names.
Her own profile as Jake Waton included stories about skateboarding and photos of herself, dressed in baggy sportswear, her long hair wrapped in a bun and hidden beneath a hat or hood.
Having convinced her victims to meet her, in various parts of England, Watts traveled by train to their homes. The girls believed they were truly related to a teenage boy. In several cases over a period of months there have been multiple encounters.
Victims in Shock Knowing the Truth
She met some of her victims ‘ parents and had discussions with them. One of the officers in the case, Phillipa Kenwright, states the victims not know the truth before police reveal them, and it is shocking for them to learn the truth.
“It’s been life-changing for all of the victims involved,” Kenwright told reporters in a briefing ahead of sentencing. “For some of these girls it’s one of their first relationships.”
The case has not been made public before and Kenwright said she believed more victims would come forward once the details were in the media. She said her personal estimation was there could be 20 to 50 unidentified victims.
Watts, who left school at 16 and is living in north London with her mother. She first came to police attention in April 2018. She continued her activities as Jake for many more months, while she knew she was under investigation.
Kenwright said Watts expressed no remorse for her actions and gave no explanation.
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