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Child rapist from Budleigh given 14 years in prison

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: December 13, 2012

Convicted: Stephen Gowers was found guilty of sexually abusing a child

A man has been sentenced to 14 years in jail for sexually abusing a young girl during what he claimed was a magic game.

Stephen Gowers, 26, claimed he had a "magic eye" which could see inside the six-year-old victim's body, and used this story as a way to molest her.

He was only caught after the victim revealed what had been going on to her horrified grandmother without realising the seriousness of the allegations.

Gowers, of Clinton Terrace, Budleigh Salterton, had denied the charges.

But he was convicted of one charge of rape and another of sexual assault by a jury at Exeter Crown Court, and was sentenced on Friday.

Judge Erik Salomonsen told him: "You continue to deny it and that means that rehabilitation work you need to undertake is still some way off.

"Those caring for her say the affect of the abuse will be long lasting."

The judge also imposed a two-year extended licence and a Sexual Offences Prevention Order which will prevent him having unsupervised access to children on his release.

The judge told him: "Clearly this was not an impulsive act and it involved creating the opportunity to offend and a shocking and aggravating factor is the disparity in age.

You were left in a position of trust. This little girl first made disclosures to her grandmother in very graphic terms and she quite responsibly took it to the appropriate authorities.

"As a consequence of what you did this girl has had her behaviour sexualised. You acknowledge that but say it was not by you."

Gowers told the jury that none of the allegations were true and they must have been invented by the girl or suggested to her.

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