Jail for Fife predator who sexually exploited 13-year American girl online

Michael Finlay, jailed for for the online sexual exploitation of an American teenagerMichael Finlay, jailed for for the online sexual exploitation of an American teenager
Michael Finlay, jailed for for the online sexual exploitation of an American teenager
A Fife man responsible for the online sexual exploitation of an American teenager has been jailed.

Michael Finlay was sentenced to 45-months in prison at Dundee Sheriff Court on Tuesday.

Police described him as “the definition of a predator.”

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Finlay threatened “Abi Myers” – in reality an undercover police officer posing as a decoy online – with being raped by a gang of 20 men if she didn’t send nude images of herself to him.

Officers then raided Finlay’s home in Tayport, and charged him with a single sex offence before a court released him on bail.

Police went back his home to check on him in September last year and discovered “concerning” material on his phone.

That then uncovered a sordid “online relationship” that Finlay had started with a 13-year-old girl who lives in the state of Wisconsin, USA.

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American authorities were contacted and interviewed the girl – who said she viewed Finlay as her boyfriend and that they had swapped images and videos of each other carrying out sex acts.

Fiscal depute Stewart Duncan said Finlay’s phone contained “heavily sexualised” conversations about the sex acts Finlay wanted to carry out on the girl.

Addressing the charges involving the undercover cop, Mr Duncan said he had asked the girl intimate questions that she did not want to answer.

“He said he would trace her if she didn’t answer.

“He repeatedly demanded she answer the question or he would start to trace her and she would have ‘many men coming to get her’.

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“She stated she didn’t want to talk and he stated if she didn’t he would call 20 men to come to her and that they would impregnate her.”

Finlay then sent a message telling the “girl” he was carrying out a sex act on himself before sending her a live video of him engaged in it.

Mr Duncan said the relationship with the girl in America was uncovered after Finlay had been charged with the first offence.

Police came to his address to check his phones and discovered vile conversations with the girl, who was later interviewed by American authorities.

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Mr Duncan said: “She confirmed he had posed as a 17-year-old male from Scotland.

“Some time in January they began ‘dating’ and he revealed he was 28.

“She stated she had no problem with the age difference.

“He had started requesting nude images and she sent partial and fully nude images and videos of her.”

Finlay (28) a prisoner at HMP Perth, pleaded guilty on indictment to one charge of distributing indecent images of children, two offences under the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act, and one of breaching bail.

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Sheriff Alastair Carmichael imposed a 45-month prison sentence on Finlay for the sex charges with a further six months to be served consecutively for breaching bail.

He also placed Finlay on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

Following the sentencing, Detective Constable Ross French from Fife’s Public Protection Unit said: “Michael Finlay is the definition of a predator and he willingly and knowingly targeted young girls to exploit them for his own gratification. When the girls he abused tried to resist, Finlay used threats and intimidation to coerce them further.

“Police Scotland officers engaged with Finlay online, and were able to gather evidence that demonstrated the level of online exploitation Finlay used. This ultimately led to his conviction and sentencing.

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Through liaison with our law enforcement counterparts in the USA, the teenage girl targeted by Finlay was identified and is being supported by the relevant authorities.

“We remain committed to bringing perpetrators of online child sexual abuse to justice and will utilise all resources at our disposal to removing these individuals from our communities.”