British woman posed as teenage boy to sexually assault young girls in “truly shocking” case of deception
by Ewan Palmer
A British woman who posed as a teenage boy online so she could groom and assault girls has been jailed.
Gemma Watts, 21, was described by police as a “deceitful woman” after she was sentenced to eight years in jail at Winchester Crown Court, South England, for admitting a string of sex offenses against girls as young as 13.
During a joint investigation by London’s Metropolitan Police and Hampshire Police, detectives ruled that Watts had spun a “bizarre and elaborate web of deception” in order to meet teenage girls she had been talking to on social media.
Watts had created profile for a fake teenage boy named “Jake Waton” on apps such as Facebook, Snapchat, Yubo and Instagram to talk to girls, even disguising her appearance to make her seem more like a teenage boy.
After gaining the girls’ trust, Watts would arrange to meet up with her victims under the guise of this false identity and sexually assault them.
An investigation was launched after a 14-year-old girl reported being abused by her boyfriend “Jake Waton” in April 2018. Two further juvenile victims also reported being groomed and assaulted by Watts under the same alias.
…While out on bail, Watts continued to groom girls online and was re-arrested in October 2018 in the West Midlands area of England after she was found with a 15-year-old girl who had been reported missing. It was later found that Watts had also sexually assaulted the 15-year-old.