Thursday 18 January 2018

Exclusive: 'Her innocence was taken' - My daughter (13) was groomed online by Canadian claiming to be 'old school friend'

  • Sent explicit sex stories and videos of him masturbating
  • Was living in Canada and claimed he had Irish heritage
  • Parents were left 'heartbroken' when they discovered what had been happening
  • Mother warns parents to be vigilant
Stock photo
Stock photo
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

A MOTHER whose teenage daughter was groomed online by a Canadian man back in 2010 has told how he sent videos of himself masturbating and used a fake Facebook profile to lure her in.

Sarah* got in touch with Independent.ie after reading about the conviction of Jashua Robert Tremblay (34), a man who flew to Ireland twice to have sex with a 14-year-old girl.

Her daughter was groomed online by a man who claimed he worked in Canada and had relations that lived in Ireland.

At one point, he even pretended he was an old primary school friend and said he knew the young girl's German teacher.

The sick man sent videos of himself masturbating and wrote explicit sex stories, in which Sarah's daughter was the heroine.

One night, after collecting her daughter and her friends from a teenage disco, Sarah became alarmed when she noticed Louise* wasn't laughing and joking with her pals in the back of the car, but was instead texting on her mobile.

"I knew something was wrong there and then," she told Independent.ie.

"I went up to her room afterwards and took the phone, we started finding these disgusting text messages. I just couldn't believe it happened under our noses.

"You read these stories and always think 'Where were the parents'. I am an on the ball mother, I work in childcare and this still happened. I thought she was on the laptop playing the Sims, that is the only thing she used to do.

"The only reason she had a Facebook account is because she had an aunt in America, and she had only recently got a mobile phone."

When Sarah looked at the man's Facebook profile, she was disturbed by the amount of young Irish girls he was 'friends' with.

"There were girls from Limerick, Galway, all over Ireland," she said.

Sarah got in touch with the local garda station but was told there wasn't a lot they could do as the man was based in Canada.

She printed off pictures of the man's Facebook profile in the hope that they could track the IP address.

Gardaí said that the address was traced back to Canada and assured her they would provide updates every three months on the case.

She has also contacted the Canadian judiciary in a bid to find out the identity of the man who took her daughter's innocence away.

They have yet to confirm who the man was.

"When I read that story about that Canadian man who travelled to Ireland to have sex, I felt sick. We are so lucky that the same thing didn't happen to our daughter."

Louise is now 20 and Sarah said that what happened has had a big impact on her life.

"Her innocence is gone. It was disgusting and heartbreaking for my family. She didn’t have the same freedom about her after that. She’s very cautious publicly and she's extremely angry nothing was done about it."

The grooming lasted two weeks and luckily Sarah and her family managed to intervene before it went any further.

Independent.ie has contacted the detective handling the investigation for comment.

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can call the Samaritans Helpline on 116-123

*Sarah and Louise are not the real names, they were changed to protect their identities

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