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A man who isolated young girls from their family and friends while sexually abusing them has been sentenced to serve 17 years in prison and a further three years on an extended licence.

Cassius Povey, 29, was convicted by a jury at Leicester Crown Court in January this year of two counts of raping a woman over the age of 16 and six counts of raping a girl aged 13, 14 or 15.

He had previously pleaded guilty to: one count of cause and incite a girl aged 13 to 15 to engage in penetrative sexual activity, eight counts of engage in a penetrative sexual act with a girl aged 13 to 15, one count of engage in non-penetrative sexual activity with a girl aged 13 to 15 and one count of meeting a girl under 16 following grooming.

On Friday (April 8) at the same court, after the court heard how some of his victims have been affected by his abuse, he was sentenced to serve 17 years in prison. He was deemed dangerous by the judge and has been made the subject of an extended three-year licence period following his release.

He was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for life.

The investigation into the actions of Povey began in 2020 following content of social media posts which was reported to police by members of the public.

During the investigation, further crimes were uncovered which revealed the extent of his offending and his deliberate targeting of vulnerable children.

In his police interviews, Povey claimed that he thought all the girls were 16 or over at the time of the offences – which occurred between 2010 and 2016 – and that the sexual activity was all consensual.

Picture: Leicestershire Police

At court, through a victim personal statement, one victim told how Povey got her pregnant at just 14 – ‘a child pregnant with a child’ – and had to make the decision to have a termination, something she still carries today, wondering if she is a terrible human being for doing so. As an adult, the statement says, she realises that she was not at fault, and that Povey was the adult, taking advantage of her.

Another victim explained how, for many years, thought emotional blackmail was normal in relationships as a result of the abuse she suffered at the hands of Povey and that she suffers significantly with her mental health.

Officer in case, DC Kev Sharkey from the force’s Signal team, said: “While this sentence will not change the experiences these young girls went through, I hope the fact that Povey will be behind bars for such a significant amount of time, offers some comfort.

“The sentencing today has been at the end of a long court process and all the survivors have shown incredible strength, patience and dignity throughout.

“Their evidence has strengthened the case against Povey, making sure he serves the time behind bars that he deserves.”