PUBLISHED: 23:01 05 November 2018 | UPDATED: 23:03 05 November 2018
An American cheerleading coach based in Suffolk has been jailed for a year after sending indecent images to young girls.
Chase Fowler, 27, was visiting the UK for work purposes and volunteered at a Soham gym while living in Lakenheath.
He came to police attention after he contacted one of his students, a girl in her early teens, on Snapchat – asking for her to send him a photo, before sending her an indecent image of himself.
The victim immediately blocked Fowler from further contacting her and told a friend what had happened.
Fowler was arrested and on examination of his mobile phone, police found conversations and photos of a sexual nature between Fowler and a 14-year-old girl in America.
In police interview, Fowler claimed he was like a celebrity, or “cheer-lebrity”, on social media in the USA and he would travel around the world to volunteer as a cheerleading coach.
He went on to say the students he coaches are often young and because of his well-known status many of them add him on social media.
On September 18, Fowler, of Back Street in Lakenheath, Suffolk, was charged with two counts of engaging in sexual communications with a child and two counts of making indecent images of a child.
On Monday, November 5, he appeared at Cambridge Crown Court and was sentenced to a total of 12 months in prison after admitting the offences at a previous hearing.
He has also been made subject of a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO).
Detective Constable Martin Hardy said: “This case shows just how serious the police and courts take new legislation relating to engaging in sexual communication with a child.
“The victim in the UK showed great bravery in telling a friend about what had happened which ultimately enabled us to uncover Fowler’s offending and safeguard any further children from his actions.”
An NSPCC spokesman for the East of England said: “Fowler sickeningly attempted to use the trust he gained as a coach to groom a girl for his own sexual gratification.
“Thankfully the young girl knew his predatory actions were wrong so blocked and reported him, ultimately helping put a dangerous offender behind bars where he cannot target other children.
“It’s far too easy for offenders to groom children online which is why the NSPCC’s Wild West Web campaign is calling on the Government to force tech companies to do more to protect children on the internet.”
Source : EADT