A man and woman have been jailed for a total of 17 years for sexually assaulting a child and live-streaming the abuse of an American pedophile.
Sarah Gotham, 34, and Craig Forbes, 36, drugged and then sexually assaulted the youth while spreading their assaults on convicted sex offender Kori Ellis, 42, in the United States.
Plymouth Crown Court heard the British couple filmed themselves indecently touching the girl on multiple occasions so Ellis could view the footage in California on Skype in 2012 and 2013.
Gotham and Forbes had met Ellis, a female pedophile living in the state, via a “roulette chat” site called Omegle by entering the word “pedo” or “pedophile” in the area of common interest.
The couple came to the attention of UK police through the FBI, who arrested a man for possessing indecent images of children in Florida.
A forensic examination of her computer led to Ellis, who worked as a cocktail waitress at a strip club.
She was then arrested by agents from the San Francisco Police Department and the FBI in April 2015.
While in detention, Ellis spoke to officers about two people in the UK with whom she was in contact, claiming that she saw them abuse the girl via Skype, under the name ‘Sarah Girls Only’.
The investigation revealed that Ellis, Gotham and Forbes engaged in graphic discussions that lasted for more than “64 pages of filth and extreme depravity.”
Forbes and Gotham were first arrested in May 2015, and Forbes was subsequently jailed for 20 months for possessing indecent images of children found on his devices.
Gotham was initially released on bail.
After officers traveled to San Francisco, Ellis chose Gotham in a webcam ID parade as the woman she saw abusing a child.
The couple were then arrested again in 2016 and sent to trial.
Forbes pleaded guilty to four offenses, but Gotham denied six offenses.
Ellis, a former magician’s assistant and domineering, traveled to the UK for the trial and told the court she saw Gotham abuse the girl alone and on other occasions with Forbes.
Gotham was found guilty by a jury after an eight-week trial. She was jailed for nine years and Forbes for eight years and both were on the sex offender registry.
Passing sentence, Judge Ian Lawrie QC told Forbes: “It is clear that there is little that can stop you when you want to commit sexual offenses.
“I consider you a dangerous man and present a constant and persistent danger to women and children.”
In Gotham, he said: “You cannot ignore the fact that you have played an equal role in pursuing the interests of Mr. Forbes.
“You have come under the corrupting influence of Mr. Forbes. But that does not excuse your responsibility for the offenses.
Detective Sergeant Brian Slade, of the Devon and Cornwall Online Pedophile Investigation Unit, said: ‘We welcome the verdict which led to these depraved people being jailed.
“Gotham and Forbes did horrific acts on a vulnerable child. While Forbes admitted what he did, Gotham acted without any remorse and always claimed she had nothing to do with it.
“Ellis … was a compelling witness, although his testimony was clearly distasteful and at times distressing for the jury in court to hear.”
Howard Phillips, Senior Crown Attorney, added: “This case shows that wherever online sexual abuse is discovered, we can work with international law enforcement agencies to prosecute offenders and bring them to justice. courts. “