Fife man jailed for online child sexual exploitation

Published 26 February 2019

Michael FinlayA man responsible for the online sexual exploitation of an American teenager has been jailed. At Dundee Sheriff Court on Tuesday 26th February, Michael Finlay was sentenced to 45-months in prison.

Between April and June 2018, the 29-year-old communicated online with two individuals, whom he believed to be 13-year-old girls. However, both were officers from Police Scotland Specialist Operation’s Unit.

On 13th June 2018, officers attended at Finlay's home address in Cowgate, Tayport, where his mobile devices were analysed and found to contain child abuse images and evidence of sexualised conversations with underage girls.

Further inquiries identified that Finlay had also been engaging with a 13-year-old girl from Wisconsin, USA, who initially believed that Finlay was a teenager and that she was in a relationship with him.

Finlay coerced her into sending him indecent images and videos, as well as engaging in discussions about sexual activity.

Following the sentencing, Detective Constable Ross French from Fife's Public Protection Unit said: "Michael Finlay is the definition of a predator and he willingly and knowingly targeted young girls to exploit them for his own gratification. When the girls he abused tried to resist, Finlay used threats and intimidation to coerce them further.

"Police Scotland officers engaged with Finlay online, and were able to gather evidence that demonstrated the level of online exploitation Finlay used. This ultimately led to his conviction and sentencing.

"Through liaison with our law enforcement counterparts in the USA, the teenage girl targeted by Finlay was identified and is being supported by the relevant authorities.

"We remain committed to bringing perpetrators of online child sexual abuse to justice and will utilise all resources at our disposal to removing these individuals from our communities."

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