Man pleads guilty to statutory rape of girl aged 12

The man appeared at Livingston Sheriff Court.
The man appeared at Livingston Sheriff Court.

A 22-year-old man accused of forcibly raping an under-age schoolgirl claimed she told him she was “glad” that she’d lost her virginity to him.

Dylan Bennett said the 13-year-old girl appeared to be happy after their sex session in the woods in Livingston on May 7, 2015.

However, he told a jury at the High Court in Livingston that after he’d been pulled up by the police about his relationships with three young girls he accepted having sex with her had been “the wrong thing to do”.

He said he had known his alleged victim for close to a year before the alleged rape and that they had arranged to meet through Facebook that day because they hadn’t seen each other in a while.

He said there was “talk of sexual nature both ways” before they stopped in Knightsridge Woods and he put his hooded top on the ground for her to lie on.

He denied raping the youngster and claimed sex with her had been consensual after she started kissing him and biting his neck.

Giving evidence in his own defence, he claimed he had “no doubt” that she was consenting to intercourse with him.

He added: “She was actually glad that she lost her virginity.”

Although Bennett, from Linlithgow, is still protesting he is innocent of the rape, he changed his plea to guilty yesterday to a further five sexual offences, including the statutory rape of a girl aged 12 at a house in High Street, Linlithgow on December 29, 2015.

The prosecution accepted that he had not seized hold of the youngster, held her hands above her head and struggled with her and kissed her neck before having sex with her.

Bennett, whose address was given as Addiewell Prison, admitted sending sexual messages and an image of male genitalia via Facebook.

He also pled guilty to intentionally meeting an under-age girl to engage in unlawful sexual activity with her, knowing she was under 16.

The trial, before Lord Woolman, continues.