August 2016

Teen reveals 8-year rape horror at hands of man who demanded she was tattooed with his name


A teenager has revealed how she was abused and raped by a man who forced her to ink his name on her skin.

She says Stephen Reeson, 52, began his sick attacks when she was just 8-years-old – shortly after he got to know her family.

He twisted her mind to the point where she was convinced they were in a loving relationship.

And when she was just 14, he took her to a tattoo parlour and paid to have his name tattooed in Chinese characters on her hip.

Her one attempt to reveal her ordeal to a teacher when she was 13 ended in failure.

Now 17 and having seen vile Reeson jailed for four years, the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, also recalled how Reeson got her pregnant and fostered a rift between her and her mother

She said: “I know he didn’t love me, what he did wasn’t right. He is a paedophile who stole my childhood and ruined my family.”

Jobless Reeson, from Plymouth, became close to the girl’s family after meeting them in 2006 in Uddingston, Lanarkshire.

His victim said: “He seemed caring, doting but in reality turned out to be anything but.”

She said the first sex assault happened after her mum had gone out to work.

She said: “I lay there terrified pretending to be asleep as he pulled off my trousers and had sex with me.”

The assaults continued regularly but at 13 she tried to end her torment.

She said: “I told my teacher that I’d been raped. But everybody loved him. He was charming and lovely and no one believed me.

“I didn’t even understand what he was doing to me and how bad it was. So when everyone was so shocked and asked if I had heard the word ‘rape’ in the playground, I just agreed.

“From that point on, I told myself what he was doing was OK. It started to happen so often that it became routine, almost normal to me.

“At one point, he was having sex with me every single day. He made sure we were isolated from everyone else.

“Another time he wrapped a belt around my neck and made me carry out a sex act on him. It seemed to go on forever. I was then violently sick.

“The abuse started when I was eight and lasted until two weeks before my 16th birthday. I began to believe what he was saying and believed that he did love me. I really thought I loved him.

“He paid for me to have his name tattooed on my stomach. He told me to get it in Chinese writing so no one knew what it really said.

“I began to believe him when he said he was my boyfriend. I wanted us to get married. I had no idea what was really going on. I was a child.”

The girl recalled the agony of having a miscarriage. “One Sunday I was at a church group when I had this
unbelievable pain and I ran to the toilets.

“I was 14 and had no idea I was pregnant. He came and picked me up. I had no one else to phone. Then he left me lying in excruciating pain.”

Reeson even promised her that they would elope to the Seychelles and get married when she turned 16.

Instead, he was arrested in January last year by police acting on a tip-off. At first, the girl refused to help. She said: “I didn’t want him to be caught. I refused to co-operate with the police.”

However, it ultimately dawned on her that she had been abused.

She says that her relationship with her mother is damaged beyond repair because she failed to believe her.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, Reeson admitted a single charge of repeatedly having sex with the youngster over a period of nine months when she was 14-15.

He is understood to have initially appeared on 14 similar charges but yesterday court clerks claimed they did not keep a record of the charges.

Lord Armstrong called Reeson’s sick crimes “a gross breach of trust” as he sentenced him to four years in prison.

Now his victim wants others to know the reality of sexual abuse and to encourage victims to report their attackers to the authorities.

She said: “A year ago I thought this man was the love of my life. I had no idea that the reality was I’d been groomed and abused.

“Over the past year, his influence has washed away. I can see clearly for the first time in my life. I wanted to tell my story to let victims of abuse know they should not be ashamed.

“I know coming forward to the police about abuse may seem like a long road to begin with but in the end it will be so worth it. Justice is possible.”

Of the tattoo Reeson paid for, she added: “I’m going to have it covered up. It’s a constant reminder. Every time I look in the mirror, it reminds me of something I’d rather forget.”