A 22-year-old man from Lewisham has been found guilty of the rape of a 12-year-old girl and sentenced to an indefinite stay in a secure facility under the Mental Health Act.

Sami Tesfay was sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court this week for the attack that happened on 23 January in a stairwell.

Tesfay, who was said to have a history of deceiving vulnerable youngsters, met his victim through Facebook, and began grooming her and befriending her initially arranging to meet up on 19 January. They met up again on 23 January with Tesfay persuading his victim to go back to his house where he made the her perform a sex act on him.

He was arrested the following day.

Detective Constable James Taylor said of the conviction:

Tesfay used a social networking site to befriend his victim.

He groomed her, gained her trust and exploited her for his own needs. The victim has now seen him convicted for what he did to her.

This case highlights the negative side of social media and the need for parents to be vigilant around who their children are communicating with online.

This successful outcome, I hope, should encourage other victims of sexual crime to come forward and report what has happened to them.

Tesfay was given a section 37 Hospital Order and a section 41 indefinite restriction order in court.