Linlithgow man on trial accused of raping young girls

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A man has gone on trial accused of forcibly raping two under-age girls.

Dylan Bennett is charged with a total of six sexual offences involving three young schoolgirls.

Bennett (22) denies all the charges and has lodged a special defence claiming that one of his alleged rape victims – who was 13-years-old at the time – consented to sex.

A jury at the High Court at Livingston today heard that Bennett’s defence team had agreed forensic evidence linking him to all three girls.

Although he previously offered guilty pleas to five of the six charges, these were rejected by the Crown, which is leading evidence about all the allegations in a trial expected to last for a week.

Bennett, from Linlithgow, is charged with raping one of the girls in Houston Woods, Livingston, on May 7last year.

The second rape charge involves a girl aged 12 at a house in High Street, Linlithgow on December 29, 2015.

Bennett, whose address was given as Addiewell Prison, stands accused of sending sexual messages to his second alleged rape victim via Facebook.

He is also charged with intentionally meeting the same under-age girl to engage in unlawful sexual activity with her, knowing that she was under 16.

He faces a further charge of having unlawful intercourse with a third girl, aged 14, after kissing her and removing her clothing at a wooded area at or near to Uphall between December 1, 2014 and January 31, 2015.

The trial continues.