Man denies ‘fake profile’ rape charge
AMAN accused of rape set up fake dating profiles to lure women to his home under false pretences, a court has heard.
Prosecutors claim Robert Devereux, 50, set up profiles on a dating website which showed pictures of an athletic, fit looking man in his 30s.
They say he engaged in online conversation with the first alleged victim who ‘believed he was the man in the pictures’. The court was told she became ‘besotted’ and agreed to drive to his home in Roseway, Macclesfield.
Prosecutor Matthew Corbett-Jones, who described Mr Devereux as a ‘devious and manipulative man’, said: “She was convinced by [the fake profile] - who was in fact Robert Devereux - that it was [the fantasy of the man he claimed to be for her] to let herself into his house, enter the bedroom and blindfold herself before he came in.”
The court was told that Devereux sexually assaulted the alleged victim after she realised he was not the man she thought he was. It is alleged when she recoiled he forcibly grabbed her wrists and said ‘it doesn’t matter, you’re here now, you will do what you’re told’.
The court heard the woman escaped after locking herself in the room.
Mr Devereux denies the claims along with charges of sexually assaulting and falsely imprisoning one alleged victim and raping and blackmailing a second woman. A trial heard the alleged crimes date back nearly ten years.
Mr Corbett-Jones said: “The following year it is alleged Devereux used similar tactics to lure a second woman. He posed as a man and after gaining her trust told her that as a test she should have sex with his friend who had terminal cancer, who the prosecution says was Mr Devereux himself.”
Mr Corbett-Jones said that she was told that if she did this she could start a relationship with the man in the fake profile. The woman went to Mr Devereux’s home but after the encounter Mr CorbettJones said the victim was warned the person behind the profile had compromising videos and pictures of her and the ‘other man’ together. The prosecution alleges that the woman was coerced under these threats to return to Mr Devereux’s home for sex on multiple occasions and also blackmailed into handing over more than £2,000 in cash.
Mr Devereux told police he did set up fake profiles but any sexual activity was consensual. He denied all of the claims and charges at Chester Crown court.