March 2018

Churchgoer jailed after child sex charges

A churchgoer who carried out sex acts with a 14-year-old girl after she sneaked out of the house at night has been jailed for 14 months.

Wesley Souza Maciel was on a break from his wife when he started contacting the child on a WhatsApp group for young members of the congregation.

And on two consecutive nights the teenager climber out of the window to meet the 22-year-old in his car outside the house.

But after she told friends in Brazil about what had happened the news spread “like wildfire” and her parents quickly found out.

Now he has been jailed and could face the prospect of deportation when his sentence is completed.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court how the pair’s families knew each other from attending the Abundante Vida church on Cheney Manor.

Last summer they started to WhatsApp each other and as the messages became more suggestive, including sending each other lewd photographs, they arranged to meet up.

When her parents were asleep the girl crept out of the house, using a window as the front door squeaked, and he was outside in his car and they kissed.

Nothing more took place until the following day, Saturday, July 8, when she again met him the same way and they got more intimate.

The couple performed a number of sex acts on each other but when she said she did not want full intercourse he stopped, Mr Meeke said.

“In as much as a 14-year-old can, she consented,” he told the court, adding that when the defendant was interviewed he admitted what had taken place.

Maciel, of Tennyson Street, pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual activity with a child.

Chris Smyth, defending, said the incident took place during a two month period when he was separated from his wife.

But they are now back together and have a four-month-old child and he is working cleaning cars for a dealership in town.

He said he had been in the UK for two years and three months and is a regular churchgoer and realises what he did was wrong.

“He would struggle with the notion that he could be described as a paedophile albeit he has pleaded guilty to an offence involving a 14-year-old,” he said.

Jailing him Judge Jason Taylor QC said “You took advantage of the position you were in to prey on a girl who despite being underage was attracted to you and you prioritised your sexual gratification above her welfare.

“You were the adult and the responsibility was on you, and your comment that you almost lost interest because she was too easy causes me some concern.

“The message must go out that young teenage girls must be protected, sometimes even from themselves.”

As well as the jail term he will also have to register as a sex offender for ten years.

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