Man convicted of raping child he met on Facebook

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A man who travelled from the Netherlands to rape a 12-year-old girl he met on Facebook has been convicted.

Steven Van de Velde, 21, of Cornelis De Wittlaan, Den Haag, pleaded guilty at Aylesbury Crown Court today to three counts of rape against a child.

In August 2014, Van de Velde travelled to the UK from Amsterdam to meet a 12-year-old girl who he met online via Facebook and communicated with on various social networking sites.

He arrived on Saturday, August 2, 2014, when he met the victim and raped her near Furzton Lake.

The next day he raped her a further time at a property in MK before leaving the UK to travel back to the Netherlands.

On January 8, 2015, Van de Velde was extradited from the Netherlands to the UK and arrested on a first instance warrant in connection with the offences.

Det Con Tejinder Sidhu, from Bletchley Child Abuse Investigation Unit, said: “Van de Velde travelled over to the UK where he raped a child who he had befriended on social media while being aware of her age.

“This conviction sends out the message that Thames Valley Police will work tirelessly and make every effort to ensure those who commit sexual offences are brought before the courts to face justice.

“Thames Valley Police takes all reports of sexual offences seriously and works to provide appropriate support to victims. If you have been a victim of a sexual offence come forward and speak to police – you will be listened to and dealt with sensitively.”

Van de Velde is due to be sentenced at the same court on March 21.